The Liu Family | Loudoun County Family Photographer

I photographed this beautiful family at Meadowlark Gardens in Vienna, Virginia. Meadowlark isn't one of my usual photo session locations, but we were anxious to get some cherry blossom photos without the permit fees, crowds, and the toddler-falling-into-the-tidal-basin hazards that come with the Washington DC trees. 

Admittedly, I find that I laugh a lot during family sessions, but this one more than most. It's just that photographing young kids is so unpredictable, and almost always results in hilarity (at least to me). I actually have to break down a few of my favorite moments from this shoot.

First: Mia vs. the Goose. The sun was harsh, but we found a nice spot under the cherry blossom trees next to one of Meadowlark's picturesque ponds. Little did we know that we were encroaching on the territory of the angry Canada Goose. 

Second: Alright, so we finally got Mia calmed down after the goose attack and moved on to another location. Maureen (mom) and I agreed that this was a good time to bribe the kids with treats. It turns out that dino and shark gummies have an amazing ability to get stuck, and stay stuck, in teeth. So we have a series of photos of the kids picking at their teeth, kiiiiiind of looking like they're chewing tobacco. The good news is that I have it on good authority that the mama of this clan would like this image recreated by her children in 20 years. 

Third: The inevitable meltdown. Kids under 2 have about a 20 minute window where they'll tolerate photos. We have Mia's moment captured on film. And of course, it happened at a point in the session when there were the most onlookers around us to witness the pterodactyl cry. But through it all, Maureen kept her cool. Perhaps I have a totally twisted sense of humor, but I tend to laugh and take shots during the inevitable meltdown (TM). Because this is parenting, people. This is life! I aim to capture connection, intimacy and emotion. And what's more emotional than this? A young girl clinging to her mother for reassurance, while her big brother smugly smiles. This is everything.

I hope that you enjoy both the nice photos, and the outtakes as much as I do. Oh and make sure to check out Mia's side eye at the beginning of the session. She was quite wary of me for the first 10 minutes, but then we worked through our differences and had ourselves a great time.