The most challenging part of any family or child portrait session is the child.  This little guy was not all that interested in the photo session, but he loved throwing oranges.  So, guess what he did throughout the session… that’s right, he gathered and threw oranges.  And that is perfectly fine.  A happy child, makes for a great portrait.  I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to allow children to enjoy themselves during a portrait session.  Try to control them and they will always win that battle.  Want to win the battles?  Don’t fight them.  Go with the flow and great things happen in a portrait session.

PS, I do not advocate letting children call the shots in raising children, just in photographing them.

The real key to this photo shoot was scouting.  We were on a time schedule: so we needed a location near the family’s home in Mesa, AZ, and it needed to look good in the morning light.  I had only one afternoon free for scouting locations, which meant that I had to use my experience, guided by my iPhone compass and sunrise calculator to calculate where the sun would rise and where and how it would strike the various locations.  Finally, this location won out because of the ease of access for the family, protection from direct sunlight and beauty.  You certainly wouldn’t think you were in the middle of a city.

And of course, the props were perfect.  Crates, baskets, benches, oranges and a red flyer wagon helped pull the whole thing together.