August 8, 2019

Sunrise Family Portraits

Posted in: Child Photography, Family Photography

Becca + Jared, Bull Creek District Park

A toddler, a dog & four adults wait to chase the light as the sun rises over the beautiful Bull Creek District Park. It sounds like the beginning of an adventure & one summer morning for this family of three (+ a pup) it was.

Becca & Jared, oh my gosh, you were amazing! First, Jameson (1-year old) gets a stomach bug causing a reschedule but then Jared has a reaction to an antibiotic right before the rescheduled shoot date. And you still nailed your photo shoot! Your family’s positive attitude & flexibility throughout the portrait session is what made the shoot amazing.

Family Sessions with Toddlers

As you know family sessions with little ones, just like life with little ones, never go according to plan. Each one is as unique as each individual toddler. That’s the magic of family sessions! It’s going to feel wild, at some point it may feel out-of-control. But like I tell all my parents, give yourself grace! It’s going to LOOK better than it FEELS.  (And sometimes tantrums/outtakes become your favorite pictures… maybe after some time has passed. Lol) Jamie did fabulous! Choosing the 2-hour portrait session gave him lots of time to rest, play, & smile. Plus, bringing the stroller was genius. Even though he’s a great walker something about being contained seemed to help him calm down if he started to work himself up. You both planned so well!


My job includes throwing things. Lol. Let’s see if the Astros are hiring because Jamie is ready for action! I loved learning about Jamie in our 2 hours together, Becca. I now know he’s a daddy’s boy! Not only does he have his dad’s smile (just look at it!) but he loved being held by Jared. Jamie could have happily thrown rocks for hours & splashed in the water like he owned it.


Sky, on the other hand, is not a water baby. (A 6-year-old rescue boxer, Becca & Jared rescued her a couple of years ago.) Remember, trying to cross the creek, Jenna? The water was so shallow, but Sky was having none of it. Thank goodness for Tim, dog helper extraordinaire, who carried your princess across the stream. Major brownie points go to you, Tim. All so we could get more wonder pictures like:

That’s not the only spot Sky modeled for us. And of course, Murphy’s Law kicked in & a dog started barking a full-length novel during one set but you, Jared, valiantly held on. Those are some mad portrait skills, sir!

Dog Helper

If you’re reading this & interested in taking family portraits with your own sweet pup, plan ahead like Becca & Jared, or Hannah from a recent senior session. Even the best, older pups will receive so much new & exciting stimuli during a portrait session. As a dog owner myself, let a trusted friend introduce your family pet to the environment & wear them out (while we capture your darling family) until they’re ready to sit calmly next to you & face the camera. Then, that fabulous friend of yours can stand behind me & encourage your dog & any kids you have to look at the camera for the best shots of your family, four-legged friends and all!

Husband & Wife Shots

One of my favorite parts of a family session is the husband & wife shots. We gave Jamie a much-needed break during this time. Becca & Jared, he was fascinated in his stroller by you! Little eyes are always watching. Not only with what we are doing but how we are reacting. Not once did you lose your positive attitude & make your portrait session a chore. “Let’s just get this done”, “when is it over?” or “I just need one picture” are easily picked up by children even if their vocabulary isn’t as advanced as ours. Anything less than the confident & flexible attitude that your brought to your photo shoot really resonates with kids & makes this (& every other photo shoot) that much harder.

The two of you were adorable sneaking in extra kisses & flirting together even with the camera turned away. Becca & Jarred married 4 years ago. I love how they first met at a Dr. Who party! Although, I didn’t get a chance to ask… who’s your favorite doctor? Dr… Who? 😉

Thank you, Becca & Jared, for investing in the right attitude! Meeting families like yours is a dream & why my job doesn’t feel like work. I say it time & time again, I have the best clients!

Until Next Time,



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Caty dunlap photography 2019

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