Katie Walls is unofficially known as my “business BFF,” a fellow professional photographer at Red Turtle Photography and friend who inspires me creatively, encourages me daily, and shares in the highs and lows of balancing the life of a female entrepreneur and mom. Together we practice our craft by experimenting with different kinds of photo shoots, sharing tips and triumphs, and letting it all hang out over coffee and tea.
Like so many of our clients, Katie and I spend far more time behind the camera and far too little time huddled together with our families in front of the lens. Sure, as professional photographers we both love to have our fingers on the shutter button, but we also want a few family portraits that include mama. Not to mention, that as our children grow up and begin looking back on their childhood snapshots – having mom and dad equally represented in the photo books is important, particularly because there are no do-overs on these early life moments.
So when Katie asked me to do a photo session swap, I knew she had stumbled upon a great idea. After years of working with local Washington DC families, we thought it would be nice to experience life on the other side of a professional photo shoot and to become the client – if even for a brief, fleeting moment. So Katie joined her family in front of the camera at the Washington National Cathedral for the shoot. Katie, her husband, Zach, and her son, Del, spent the morning with me, allowing me to capture their special family moments – photographer mom included.
Katie’s son Del, just three years old, was a dream to work with. He has an adorable smile that easily emerged anytime mom or dad made a silly face in his direction. A natural ease and young age kept all self-consciousness at bay, which made for a playful session all morning. While the Walls family doesn’t have any pets, a special stuffed animal “somebunny” did make a cameo appearance in several shots – and behind the scenes to win little Del’s attention. Katie’s new family portraits were used for holiday cards and she just hung a lovely selection of them up in the hallway of her home.
With Katie’s family session has wrapped, I finally had to face the pain of prepping for my own family’s shoot. Clothing, and makeup, and hairdos – oh, my! Having coached numerous clients through this process I thought I was ready for the tables to turn, but it turns out wrangling my boys into color coordination isn’t a task for the faint hearted. Not to mention that my son lives exclusively in sports pants and t-shirts, so some major bribery was necessary in order to win his cooperation. You can check out the results of my family session on Katie’s website here.