A few months ago, I started thinking about booking an outdoor family photo shoot session for the three of us while in Melbourne. I had originally thought of the idea for our Australia trip last year, but I thought that given Kaia wasn’t walking yet back then that the photos may not be as interesting. So I decided to start looking into it for this year when she’d be 2 years old and more active. Unfortunately, what that also meant is that at this age, she has a more acute “stranger danger” and gets scared or mad at new people getting close to her. I hesitated to book it given her stranger danger, but I thought, why not? The vast majority of family photographers are used to “stranger danger” and getting kids of her young age to smile and be silly in photos, so I figured her experience as a photographer would help ease Kaia into the session.
While it may have been a bit cliche to do a photo shoot at the beach boxes on Brighton Beach if we lived in Australia, it seems more fun and unique since we live in New York, so we decided on that location. For dates that worked with us, this morning was the only time that worked, and when you want the optimal light for an outdoor photo session, a good photographer will insist that your session either be at dusk or dawn. So we had to suck it up and get all of us up early for the shoot. At least it was just a two minute drive from Chris’s parents’ house.
Our photographer was sweet, friendly, patient, and efficient. Unfortunately, even with the snacks we packed Kaia, she still fussed and got really upset at our photographer’s presence. It also probably did not help that we started at 7:30, so we had to cut Kaia’s breakfast short, which caused a lot of tantrums. In addition to that, it was extremely windy on the beach and a bit cold given what we were wearing, and though Pookster usually enjoys the wind, you could actually see her shivering and have goosebumps on her arms. She refused to walk almost the entire time. I would be shocked if our photographer got even a few photos of Kaia smiling. But somehow, our photographer was gracious and helpful the whole time with suggestions, and she made it all work.
Welp. We paid for the photo session, so it is what it is. I’m positive that there were at least a handful of photos that were good that we’d want to frame and display. But I do know for sure that if I book another family photo session, I will make sure that a) Kaia is old enough to follow directions and not have stranger danger anymore, and b) if any way possible, to control for the weather/wind. I guess that’s why so many families do indoor photo sessions, either in their own homes or at a studio, so that they don’t have to worry about the weather!