The first time I photographed this family a year ago was one of the most refreshing family sessions I have ever photographed! In our email exchanges before our first session Stephanie let me know that it was okay if every photo wasn’t of him looking right at the camera cheesing, and that in fact she was okay if I photographed his tears, too. She just really wanted to document him just being him at this stage of his life. I was reading that and in my head I was thinking “yes! she gets it!” Her sweet Billy is a few months younger than my son and let me tell you that we have exactly three family photos that have been taken since we had kids. Only one of them actually has him looking at the camera at the same time as us. The first time we tried to have family photos taken, I was so overwhelmed by the whole thing, and my son was just not really having it at all. I got so wrapped up in wanting that pinterest perfect family photo that I couldn’t even let myself enjoy it. I was just so sure that we weren’t going to have a single “good” photo and that the whole thing would have been for nothing. When I got the photos back, it turns on we did have one “perfect” photo. But the photos that absolutely melted my heart weren’t anything like the one with all three of us cheesing into the camera. It was the “in between” photos. The moments that were captured of his sweet scrunched up nose when he was upset, and the moments captured of me soothing my sweet first born when he was upset and frustrated with having to cheese for the camera when he really wanted to be let down so he could play. When Stephanie contacted me for photos again this year I was so excited because I knew that meant I would have another chance to just truly document their family. Sweet Billy is three now and is going to be a big brother soon! His love that he has for his baby sister already is seriously adorable and his three year old imagination had us laughing for half of the session. We let him take the lead and he took us hunting for sticks, deer, bears, and even baby rhinos. The moment I’ll never forget was when he found a random bush growing that had a reddish color and his eyes got really big and he looked at us and exclaimed “Look at this branch! We’re in a color forrest!” Cutest moment, ever.