I have had the best time meeting all of these new faces and getting to see some familiar ones as well while I hosted my Christmas Minis at the Windsor Ballroom! From the matching pajamas to more formal wear, I cannot decide which look I like best. Everyone looked so amazing and showed up with so much joy it filled the room. Little Emmit was a firecracker and sure kept us all on our toes during their session but the smiles we got were so worth the work!

Katelyn and Tanner, thank you so much for letting me capture your story. I am so happy we got to meet each other and I hope to work with you again!

Be sure to make it to the bottom of this blog for some of my pro tips for a successful mini session!

How perfect does the Mattson families outfits look with this Christmas set! Just look at those smiles. It looks like someone might be asking for a front tooth for Christmas this year. Brittany and Casey, thank you so much for bringing your family to the Windsor for Christmas photos. I am so excited for your outdoor session. I cant wait to get you all back in front of my camera!

Little Miss Ellie showed up looking like a magical Christmas princess! She had a session all for her and we had so much fun. She had favorite poses that she taught me and we played lots of peek a boo. She was just the sweetest thing. I am so happy her mom scheduled her a Christmas session with me at the Windsor Ballroom!

These two little sisters were so sweet! I always wanted a sibling close in age to grow with and these two are so lucky to have that.

Krista, I am so happy that I got to meet your family! I hope we get the chance to work together again!

I have been lucky enough to get Tonya and her husband in front of my camera two times now. It was so much fun photographing just the two of them at the Edgewater Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maize in the fall and then such an honor for them to bring their kids to this Christmas session. Tonya, I am so happy that your daughter was able to make it to town for this and it was so great to meet and see what such wonderful young people you two have raised. I cannot wait to get you all in front of my camera again!

You cant go wrong when you have a little princess on your lap! But I am so into the colors Alyssa chose for this. It gives off such a warm, fuzzy, welcoming vibe and I love it!

Alyssa, thank you so much for bringing your family to the Windsor Ballroom for Christmas Photos with me. It was an honor to meet you all.

We had an outfit change, a pillow fight and lots of "you're going to have to pretend to like your brother for a little while". But what else would you expect with two teens during a family session? I had the best time with the Moran family! When they told my they had Christmas robes that they wanted to change into I probably squeaked because I am a sucker for matching pajamas. We even got to do a couple funny photos with mom and dad kissing and of course the pillow fight.

Sarah, thank you so much for bringing your family for Christmas photos. I loved the energy of everyone and even when the kids didn't feel like sitting close and touching I am very appreciative that they did. They'll look back one day and be thankful as well that they did it. I cant wait to get you guys back in front of my camera for your outdoor session and for the spring mini that you won! Congratulations, again! I love when I get to continue documenting families throughout the years.

We had our hands full with these precious but fast sweet girls. When big sis was sitting still, little sis wanted to run and vice versa. But hey, thats what I am prepared for and I dont mind it at all. It keeps me on my toes, challenges me and I love it. Plus I get some really precious photos that I wouldn't get if all kids just sat still and smiled.

Helen, I am so smitten with your sweet baby girls. As a boy mom I can only dream of the dresses with the matching bows. You couldn't have picked better outfits for everyone! I am obsessed with the colors and the love I saw during your session. I am so excited for your mom and me session coming up. I cannot wait to get you and those sweet girls in front of my camera again!

My Pro Tips:

  1. If you have a child and they, like most kiddos, are full of energy I recommend booking 2 back to back minis to ensure that we are not rushed during your session. This will help keep you (parents) stress free and it will give us that extra time for the kiddo(s) to let their wild out while still getting the shots that are important for you to walk away with.
  2. If your kiddo is front and stage it is best to let me get their attention on my own, unless I call for reinforcement, which I often do. In that case the best way to help is to stand directly behind me and squat a close to my level as you can. This will help ensure that your sweet child is looking at the camera the majority of the time instead of off to one side or the other. 
  3. If you have a sibling session with younger children (1-8) its a really good idea to start talking to them ahead of time about giving kisses and hugs and getting them familiar with this. There is nothing sweeter than big sister or brother giving the youngest a great big cuddle or kiss on the cheek. You could even do a mock photoshoot at home with your phone and get them used to hearing "okay, now can you give little sister a great big squeeze". 
  4. If you or anyone in your session wears glasses, it is always a good idea to give me a heads up so I can be prepared to make adjustments to the lighting beforehand so we dont have to take time away from your session to address any lens glare from lighting.
  5. If you have older children, it's a good idea to start talking to them about the fact that during a family session they are going to be asked to touch and maybe even hug each other. I know it sounds absurd to them and like the most uncomfortable thing they could be asked to do but as I always say "it's a family session, you're going to have to at least pretend that you love each other for the pictures". But if you start working with them at home ahead of time and set expectations for them, it will make things go a lot smoother and hopefully a little less awkward for them. P.S. they are never too old to bribe.
  6. Candid can be better. I am very well trained on posed and candid shooting. I love them both because they are unique and offer something the other doesn't. But when it comes to the littles that just dont want to hold still (who can blame them, its in their nature) I usually aim for candid so we are getting quality photos instead of spending time trying to get a posed photo that just isn't going to happen in the time frame that we have. So when in doubt, dont shout. Check your stress at the door and just let your littles enjoy themselves. I have seen it all and I assure you that I am not judging them or you! The less stressed you get the better the session will go. Do not be embarrassed or upset about your kiddos behavior during your session. The only thing I expect is safe behavior and fun!

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