Mommy & Me Fountainbleu State Park

This session with this precious mom and her two daughters was what childhood dreams are made of. It was just like a woodland fairytale. Well, let’s be honest – not quite (keep reading).

I had so much fun helping Rebecca choose outfits and deciding where we would do their mother/daughter session. We settled on Fountainbleu State Park because it has such a variety of landscapes – Woodland or Beach settings. We chose outfits for the girls first at Old Navy that had soft hues and small patterns. We then chose Rebecca’s outfit at Francesca’s her dress was only $20 and we bought two flower crowns for $7 each. Our entire wardrobe expenditure was under $75.

It rained cats and dogs ahead of us but the weather was beautiful when we arrived. This sweet mom and her two daughters were not feeling as emboldened to be in front of the camera once we arrived. The park was full of people and understandably, they did not want to be a spectacle in their midst. Originally we were going to go for a coastal shoreline vibe. Since the beach was too crowded and they were feeling a bit bashful I decided on a couple “less crowded” spots. Keep in mind, I had never been here before.

As soon as I saw this tree lined walkway, I knew it was the perfect setting. The trees provided nice soft lighting and the backlight behind them brought the magic. I brought the youngest out to dance and twirl in her dress. What little girl doesn’t love a good twirl. The oldest was still not warming up to the idea of taking pictures, so we added just the mom. Which of course, made the oldest want to join in on the fun.

Sometimes when I show up to a shoot, things don’t go as planned. In this case, everyone was nervous about even getting out of the car and probably wondering why they agreed to do this in the first place. The park was full of mud from the rain and the children were not feeling cooperative. One thing I have learned over the years, is to just be patient and wait. I’ve learned you can’t rush things, especially people – especially little people. Life does not always go as planned. I’m so much better at embracing my circumstances than I used to be. It is so much easier for me to be patient, look for opportunities and wait for cues from my clients.

We found some huge oak trees away from the crowds and decided to check them out. They had some beautiful low lying limbs that were perfect. The girls seemed more curious than anything and willing to climb up into the tree.

The girls deposited their shoes on a piece of dry ground not too far from where we were shooting. It seemed like the perfect place to store them. Unfortunately, the red ants also thought it was a great place to escape the water; so, when the littlest one went back to get her shoes she immediately became the target of the red ants. It was awful. She had red ant bites knee high on both legs.

Her mom held her and actually climbed back up into the tree with her and held her. The most magical thing happened then. The oldest climbed up in the tree and began to sing to her sister. Then her mom joined in. The littlest was still in so much pain, but it was a wonderful family moment. Of course, I have the pictures of all of that – I won’t share them here. They are special moments meant only for their family.

We decided to leave, on the way out we found a beautiful spot where the light was just right. The littlest did not want to leave the car. We parked the car on the side of the road and I am literally standing next to the car as I took these next shots.

It just goes to show, beauty and magic moments are all around us if we will just be patient and tune in to what is really important. Magic moments of all kinds were made on this day, but it wasn’t a perfect day by any means. I’ll take magic moments over perfection any day. Wouldn’t you?!

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