The seeds of smiles

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I came back to this shoot because of the soft, spring like colors that I’m already starting to miss as my neighborhood transitions from the pastels of spring to the fresh greens of summer.  There’s so much to update in Addy’s world since last you saw her, since last  I saw her actually, so let’s introduce her brother Oliver!

There’s also an honesty to this shoot that I’ve been wanting to share.  It was one of those days when a baby who always smiles wanted to do just about anything but.  We tried and tried and tried again.  It can be disappointing as well as exhausting for parents when this happens, requiring great effort, endurance and pretty much every trick in the play book to turn it around.  Add in the big feelings of a small toddler and it can be double draining.  I’m fairly certain that everyone in the house, animals included, napped just as soon as I left!  Oliver was already down, he fell asleep as I was taking his last picture and my hope is that he led by example.

I know its a lot of work for parents, the shoots where the smiles don’t come easy.  But honestly, I don’t mind when it goes this way – would it be cruel to call it a preference?  From my point of view there is an advantage.  It takes an immense amount of teamwork and togetherness to break through to those smiles, giving parents no choice but to juggle, toggle, tickle, laugh, cuddle and comfort.  And that gives me a lot to work with, far more action and interaction than an easily culled smile.

In other words, I get to see what great parenting looks like.

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Which is not to say that the shoot was miserable or that no one had fun!  For one thing, I got pictures of that perfect, sweet tuft of Jen’s same hair that grows at the very back of Ollie’s head.  We couldn’t stop talking his monk mullet!

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And a tender moment between sibs:

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And quite a bit of fun with the furry family members!

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I know that the hope is always for that perfect, smiling picture of a new baby when I come over.   But I’m just as happy with a result that shows a loving, close knit family who enjoy each other even when, especially when,  not everything is going according to plan.  This is where the seeds of happiness are planted and maybe that’s why I don’t tend to worry much about smiles.

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