“So, how’ve you been feeling?” Carrie asked as she tore open a couple packets of sugar and dumped them on the restaurant wood table in-front of her 19-month-old. Braeden smiled and proceeded to delicately draw lines in the white crystals before licking his index finger. “It’s a trick my mom taught me,” she explained. Trick? More like magic spell. Braeden entertained himself this way while we chatted, ate the pancakes his mom ordered for him, and waited for us to pay the bill. Let me just pause here to say that, although I take my hat off to all moms who take the time to pack up diced organic fruit for their child when they go out to eat, this method of enjoying brunch with a friend and her little one has proved itself time and again. Then again, Braeden is an especially sweet kid. I know, I know, I have such a soft spot for First Borns.
Braeden just turned two years old last week, so we took some photos to celebrate. Here are a couple of the entire family, including dad! (Thanks for joining our girl’s date, James!).
Then we let Braeden take it away! He’s such a mix of his momma and dad. He looks so much like Carrie in some ways, but his expressions are very James.
I think these two are my favorite set. All the joy of a little boy smiling at his momma is in this photo. His face is full of wonderful innocence…
And then, bam, Braeden is suddenly 2 going on 42; wise to the ways of the world.
I call this Braeden’s swimsuit supermodel pose. With no prompting on our part, he laid down in the sand with his legs out to the side. Then another photographer who had been out taking photos of the surfers stood back and got him to smile and laugh. I wish this guy showed up on all of our photo shoots!
Thanks so much for coming down, Carrie and James! I hope you had fun with Braeden running around the beach while I snapped photos! You both were fantastic. I loved brunch and I think Seth is hoping Carrie’s baking gene will rub off on me. Oooor, I could just keep trading photos for coffee cakes. I’m almost embarrassed to say that I had two more slices after brunch!
As always, here are my take-aways for the photo session:
1. It’s important to give kids positive feedback. I didn’t think it would matter really with such a little one, but Braeden got a bit upset when he thought he was being told he wasn’t doing the right thing. I should know better! I mean, us First Borns are veeery sensitive to anything we perceive as criticism!
2. Work around your subject. This is a bit challenging with kids since they don’t like to sit still, but I feel like I got the best shots when I worked my way around Braeden a bit. I wish I’d done more of that.
3. Pick a focal point. I tried both picking a focal point (usually the eye) and letting the camera choose. The photos in which I kept control are by far better. It’s kind of a pain with a moving subject, but practice makes it easier.
Here’s a lightbox with a few more photos than those included above. Click on it to see larger and brighter photographs. Enjoy :)