Returning clients are always amazing to work with! This is one family that I’ve literally watched grow in front of my lens. Kady-bug was a tiny baby & Kyler was a spunky toddler when I first moved to Mesa and their mom, Tonya, hired me for family photos. We’ve gotten together every year since (and twice a year for a couple of years). She’s always got some fun idea or vision for what she wants the photos to look like, or is up for whatever new & crazy idea I’ve got in my head. We make a good team. This year was extra exciting since we added in the extended family of aunties, uncle, grandma & new baby cousin. I was lucky enough to photograph Tonya’s brother & sister-in-law’s wedding last year, and super happy to meet their beautiful baby at our session…

Tonya’s request this year was an Autumn feeling. Driving north wasn’t in our plans and since we live in the Phoenix Valley and “Fall” doesn’t really happen until January, I scouted out a location that could be altered in processing to give us a very warm, autumn-y feel from their images. The Riparian Preserve in Gilbert is a favorite location of mine because of the variety it offers. It just happens to have an intriguing area with red dirt surrounded by trees & bushes. We spent the majority of our session hanging around this area, playing and switching up the groupings of family members and then wandered to the water after an outfit change (Go Hawkeyes!). And since our session was right before Halloween, of course the cuties wanted to show off their costumes!!

The funniest part of the session by far was the baby’s reaction to burlap & pumpkins. She had just woken up after napping in the car, was changed into a super cute dress, and then plunked down with the “fall” items around her; she looked first to me, then to her parents, then gave the BIGGEST boo-boo lip a baby can give. She didn’t cry, just looked super sad. I took the one photo, then scooped her up and handed her to mommy. I’d rather take a few extra minutes to have a happy baby than stress one out to tears! A cuddle, a snack & she was happy to play the rest of the time!

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