Portrait sessions are a blast. But throw a couple of 2 year olds in there and the word “unpredictable” can’t even begin to cover it! Since my wife and I have young kids, we’re pretty unflappable, and as such I was pleased to do a portrait shoot for Tom and Jessica along with their family this past Sunday. The location was Valley Forge National Park, and it’s a wonderful, scenic, historical setting. In fact, I got engaged in the historic Washington Memorial Chapel, so that’s where I decided to meet Jessica and Tom.

The trick to getting good portrait shots in VFP is to either get there really early, or plan to find the shade offered by the many trees in the area. We opted for the latter, and while dodging the sun is never an exact science, I was able to find a long stretch of shaded area behind the chapel. Off we went!
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The Waiting is the Hardest Part…

The toughest thing, however, about taking pictures of 2 year olds is actually getting them to focus on the camera long enough to have their picture taken. It takes patience, an itchy trigger finger and at least one person to stand behind you acting like a total nutjob in order to get the kids to look in your direction. Luckily, my brother-in-law was on hand to perform the nutjob duty, and he brought his large dog, a bull mastiff, to further the entertainment value…Of course, when kids choose to focus on play, that’s an equally great opportunity to get some natural photojournalism, which is primarily what Jessica and Tom wanted to get out of the session.

I did about a 2 hour session, and got tons of great posed and photojournalistic shots of the entire family. Jessica brought her sister along and I was eventually able to get them to ham it up in front of the camera as well.

I had a great time at this portrait session and I thank Tom and Jessica for having me aboard. To see the entire shoot, go check out my gallery over at Zenfolio!