This is what true Golden Hour looks like. This mama and her daughter are one of my regular clients who I love working with every time they reach out to me. When I posted about my reclamation special, she reached out saying it was just the session she needed. I was so excited because naturally, she's such a beautiful human being inside and out and so is her daughter, so I knew once she had this dress on she would rock it like the total queen she is and be the cherry on top to how amazing she is.

We set ourselves up for success

She sent me her daughter's outfit choices prior to the session. We communicated back and forth about location weeks before the session as well, and we discussed our meeting time. She brought her daughter some snacks and followed my tips on how to prepare her toddler for Golden Hour since we would be shooting up until about 9PM. We arrived early that way she had time to change into the dress and we could take our time in case there was any photo anxiety. Her energy was relaxed and easy-going which helped her daughter stay relaxed and happy, too. If parents are relaxed and having fun, so will the kids.

A little exploring

I like to have families explore the terrain a little first. It gets everyone loose and relaxed, and allows me the opportunity to feel out the energy and test my lighting. So we took the longer way down the trail and came across a dip in the cliff where the light shined through beautifully. I had them climb up the dip and naturally mama and her daughter started to cliff to the top. I didn't prompt this, but this is exactly why I don't direct a ton at my sessions. They naturally climbed up the sandy cliff and it created some great candid images and variety in their gallery.

A Tea Party

We were about to go to my usual spot with all the lake views and sage, when we were approached by one of the other photoshoots going on along our way. It was an event company called Boheme Events Co. who had this lovely picnic/tea party set up for their branding shoot. Since my clients looked drop dead gorgeous, they asked if they wanted to sit and enjoy the tea sandwiches and have some photos done. So I sat them down and let them have fun while I captured their moments.

Spinning, twirling, and dancing

After we enjoyed some pretend tea, we went over to my favourite spot to capture that gorgeous Golden Hour. I gave a few light prompts but my sessions are very child-led, so we went with the flow and followed adventurous Ella around and I captured all the details that are often overlooked, and all the movement and the love.

A little rest

Toddlers can get a little wild when they begin to get overtired. I embrace the wild and the chaos, but this mama is still nursing just like I am and I know I personally love having those quiet moments captured. So to reset the mood we decided to sit for a bit for her daughter to nurse and click went my camera. Ella loves playing with her mamas hair while nursing, and my mama heart just exploded. We also took this time to just chat mom to mom about motherhood, the struggles, the joys, and caught up with each other with what's going on in our lives. It's so rewarding when I'm able to connect to my clients the way I connect with Jacklyn.

So this is the magic that's created when styling is on point, we're blessed with beautiful weather, and we shoot at Golden Hour when the light is soft and luminous. All you need to do is show up and be your authentic selves, and get ready to play, love, and embrace each other. Find someone to touch - a hand, a shoulder, hair, cheek - just keep connecting physically and emotionally and I'll take care of the rest. Thank you, Jacklyn & Ariella for always filling my photographer heart with your beautiful bond.