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I never know what to expect when I’m working with a newborn baby + a sibling, but I must say that BOTH of these girls far exceeded our expectations for them at the photo session! I know mommy thinks that her eldest was running around like a crazy person the whole time (and yeah, that may have been true for a few minutes), but honestly, she was a joy and I really loved watching her dote on her baby sister. They are very lucky to have one another.

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See another version of this POV of big sis peeking up HERE. Also love this adorable behind-the-scenes shot by mom HERE.
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It was pretty funny because as usual, the minute we tried to work with the baby by herself, big sis wanted to be part of the action. And we let her. And it was precious!
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I really loved this moment. My daughter sucked her thumb, so I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for thumb-sucking. But I think it’s the contrast between her being the big sister and comforting her baby sister while comforting herself that really drew me to this image above.

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Look at baby sister’s eye contact!!! Priceless!www.pinkletoes.com

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From Mom:

1) Tell us a little bit about your family… We’re a family of four now (I can hardly believe that!) with two little girls and our two crazy rescue pups. We live a pretty simple life here in Austin and spend our days cleaning up messes, tripping over toys, laughing, and wishing for more sleep, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
2) What made you decide this was the time to do a photo session? The arrival of our second daughter, Emily!
3) Where was your session held and why? Our home, because that’s where we spend most of our time and it’s where we’re most comfortable.
4) What did you like about your session location? We didn’t have to load everyone up and go somewhere and we could just be ourselves.
5) What was your favorite part of your session? Watching our oldest daughter, Elisabeth, love on her sister and laugh at Michele talking in a crazy voice behind the camera.
6) Was there anything you were nervous or worried about before the session? I wondered what kind of mood our daughter would be in that day and what on earth I was going to wear, since I’d just given birth a week before.
7) Any funny stories or interesting happenings during your session? Our daughter was running around like a crazy person in the background for half the session.
8) Any advice to other families before their photo sessions? Don’t worry about a thing. Just let Michele take the reigns and work her magic!
9) What made you choose Pinkle Toes Photography? Michele is simply the best at what she does. She photographed the birth of our first daughter a few years earlier and those pictures absolutely mean the world to us.
10) What do you hope your kids/family will say years down the road when looking at these images? I hope they will be grateful that we had the pictures taken and I hope they will see how much our girls mean to us.

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It’s been a while since we’ve had a good batch of bluebonnets *right* in front of the Pinkle Toes Studio, so it was amazing to get to take advantage of this! And, for the first time ever, I found an amazing field of Indian Paintbrush nearby, too! I can’t believe we were able to catch these flowers because shortly after their session, we got that downpour and they all faded away. One of my favs of big sis is HERE. Girl can pull this look off, am I right?

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From Mom:

1) Tell us a little bit about your family… I’ve been married for 9 years and we just moved back to Texas from Minnesota last June. Our daughter is 5 years old and our son is 2 years old.
2) What made you decide this was the time to do a photo session? Were you marking any special occasion, etc? It’s been a year since the kids pictures have been taken and we have always had the cold or snowy pictures; so we really wanted the Spring sunshine and flowers!
3) Where was your session held and why? Outside in the middle of the wildflowers!!!
4) What did you like about your session location? It was beautiful and gave us a bit of the country vibe we were looking for!
5) What was your favorite part of your session? Watching my kids run wild and explore!
6) Was there anything you were nervous or worried about before the session? I was a little worried my son would want me to hold him the entire time…but Michelle worked her magic and he warmed up right away!
7) Any funny stories or interesting happenings during your session? We started out using a wagon for my son to sit in (which he was really excited about), while his big sister pulled him for a ride. Almost immediately the wagon tipped over and the right side of his face was all scratched up! We had avoided having any bumps the entire day and now we had a very obvious one for the entire session! He handled it like a champ though!
8) Any advice to other families before their photo sessions? Make sure you feed the kids first and tell them something that will make it fun. Instead of saying we are having pictures made tell them they will be going on an adventure!
9) What made you choose Pinkle Toes Photography? I heard very positive things from people and really loved the website!
10) What do you hope your kids/family will say years down the road when looking at these images? Look at those magical times you all shared!

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If you’ve ever attended one of my lifestyle photography workshops  or if you’ve ever been a new parent talking to me about when might be the best time for your baby’s newborn session, you may have heard me go on and on about how much I LOVE working with older newborns. And this beauty featured here is a perfect example of the kind of images you can get when baby is around 7-9 weeks old. I love that she was so alert most of the session and was actually making eye contact with her family AND with the camera. And those smiles!!! It’s really fun to get that kind of feedback from a little baby. I was also really struck by how much she looks like her big sister. I just kept seeing her as a newborn over and over again. It was crazy!

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She was really, really, really awesome with her baby sister. I think we were all amazed!www.pinkletoes.com

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See what I mean about the eye-contact and beautiful smiles?

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We snuck away to spend some time with big sis in her big girl room and it was precious to watch her play with her toys. They were having full on conversations. We don’t know what about, but it was pretty deep.

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(Love. That. Book. It’s a classic in our house).

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Ohhhh. those lashes. Those cheeks. Those lips. Sigh. THIS one might be my fav from the bunch.www.pinkletoes.com

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I spy Pinkle toes 😉
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At the very end of the session, as I was ready to leave, mama asked for a pic of her and the hubs together. After we shot the serious image, they surprised me with the high-five, celebrating a hugely successful photo session. Right on! They do make a wonderful team!

austin-marble-falls-newborn-baby-lifestyle-photographer-19From mama:

1) Tell us a little bit about your family… We are a family of four! Scott and I have been married for 7 years and we have Blake Lynn, who will be three in August and we recently welcomed Blair Marie.
We love the current stage our little family is in and spend as much time as possible together.
2) What made you decide this was the time to do a photo session? Were you marking any special occasion, etc? We were celebrating Blair Marie joining our family :)
3) Where was your session held and why? Our home- so much easier with a newborn
4) What did you like about your session location? It’s our favorite place to be
5) What was your favorite part of your session? How cooperative Blake was, she was so happy to show off her baby sister
6) Was there anything you were nervous or worried about before the session? Tantrums! The last session we had was full of tears [but it still turned out pretty nicely ;-)]
7) Any funny stories or interesting happenings during your session? Blake loved the puppet that Michele brought along!
8) Any advice to other families before their photo sessions? Michele is the best, so you are in good hands and no matter what your toddler is like, she will capture absolutely precious memories
9) What made you choose Pinkle Toes Photography? Michele is the best!
10) What do you hope your kids/family will say years down the road when looking at these images? Look how little we/they were

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I can’t quite put into words how I feel when I’m working with certain families. It’s just that sometimes (or luckily in my case, many times) you meet people and while you’re “working” you feel like family. You share in their joys and celebrate when wonderful things happen. And that’s just how it has been watching this family grow and I couldn’t be happier to meet their new beautiful baby girl!

Two things I want to mention about this lifestyle newborn photo shoot:

1. Yes, any time you are dealing with a young older sibling, you never know what’s going to happen. We must be very patient and very willing to go with the flow and by we, I mean myself + the parents. I really want to give credit to mom and dad on this one for being SO incredibly laid back and allowing their eldest daughter to just be herself, even down to the band-aid she insisted on wearing the entire time. I asked mom if she wanted me to take it out or leave it in when I was editing and I grinned ear-to-ear when she said to leave it in. YASSSSSS! She gets it! How wonderful to acknowledge this phase in her daughter’s life and having the foresight to commemorate it forever in photos. Excellent decision!

2. Along those lines, notice the gloves in the series of the sisters together? Well, we decided to give big sis a little break and focused on baby sis for a little while. I was concentrating so hard on photographing the baby that I freaked out a little bit when all of a sudden, these gloved hands appeared in my frame:

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But once again, we decided to roll with it. If big sis wanted to be in the photos with her baby sister, I wasn’t going to stop her and nor were we going to try to take away the gloves ;-). Turns out, I believe she was merely copying me because I often wear gloves when working with newborns so my touch won’t startle them. I started laughing so hard when I got to these images in my camera roll during editing! I’m so glad we have them!

And now, from mom (by the way, my fav image from the session happens to be with her and her new baby girl, shot through the prisms of her chandelier which she worked so hard to put together for their new house):

1) Tell us a little bit about your family… We are a family of 5 counting our dog Lola. My lucky husband is surrounded by 4 girls; Myself, Lauren: 2.5 yrs, Marilyn: 5 weeks old and Lola: 6 yrs. We are a very active, loving, fun, silly, caring, kind and Christian family. We love to be outdoors and going all the time. We rarely stay home and we love spending time with our extended families.
2) What made you decide this was the time to do a photo session? Were you marking any special occasion, etc? Newborn photo session! Introducing Marilyn Rose Kalb, born March 13th.
3) Where was your session held and why? Our house; for convenience. 😉
4) What did you like about your session location? Convenient and comfortable
5) What was your favorite part of your session? Pictures of Marilyn Rose and Lauren
6) Was there anything you were nervous or worried about before the session? My 2.5 year olds compliance and getting her to focus. :)
7) Any funny stories or interesting happenings during your session? My daughter totally ruined her dress from the photo session right afterwards. Like hugged a pole with black tar on it and ruined the entire $75 dress. Stinks!
8) Any advice to other families before their photo sessions? Relax and enjoy cause you’re not in control of your kids’ photogenic outcome.
9) What made you choose Pinkle Toes Photography? Michele’s amazing work
10) What do you hope your kids/family will say years down the road when looking at these images? Sweet, silly and loving family.

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I have visited this family out at their ranch several times over the last few years and each photo session is gorgeous and so much fun. This year was no exception. Really loved how we started this one off!

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That dress, Mama. Yeowza!austin-texas-ranch-family-lifestyle-photographer-05

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The sweetest sisters! SOOOOOO lucky to have each other! www.pinkletoes.com

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My fav from the hammock HERE.

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But then feeding Nilly was definitely the highlight of the evening!

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From Mom:

1) Tell us a little bit about your family… A tight knit family where little house on the prairie still lives!
2) What made you decide this was the time to do a photo session? Were you marking any special occasion, etc? Knew the grass would be nice and water would be pretty.
3) Where was your session held and why? Family ranch
4) What did you like about your session location? Familiar and meaningful
5) What was your favorite part of your session? Feeding Nilly!
6) Was there anything you were nervous or worried about before the session? No
8) Any advice to other families before their photo sessions? Be comfortable!!!! Not hungry or tired! Let Michele lead littles!!!! :)
9) What made you choose Pinkle Toes Photography? 4th year. Easy and painless for kids, and husbands! :))).
Michele is a total pro!
10) What do you hope your kids/family will say years down the road when looking at these images? Favorite times of our lives!

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[I am crushed right now as I had a very detailed and lengthy and heart-felt post all written out here but when I went to publish it, all of my text was lost. I am going to go ahead and post this without my beautiful, long passage to accompany the images right now because mom has waited so patiently to see her sneak peeks, but know that I am sulking over here and thinking very bad thoughts about the internet in general. While I pout like a 2-year-old, I hope you will at least enjoy these images of a family that is dear to my heart and maybe you can make up your own stories behind them. Favorite session image HERE ;-)]

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[This was the only text that was saved, so I’ll keep it in:]

Now, I have to tell you the story behind these jars. This was a gift she put together for her husband one Christmas and the amount of thought and planning that went into this idea just blew me away. Each child has two jars…the pennies in the left-hand jar represent the number of weeks they have before they graduate high school and essentially, leave the nest. Each week, she takes one penny from the child’s jar on the left and places it in the right. Our three children are almost the exact same age breakdown and let me tell you, it crushed my little mommy soul to realize that there are not really that many pennies remaining in that left-hand jar for either one of our oldest boys.

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I was lucky enough to get to visit another friend when we were in Charleston, SC: Jody! I first met Jody years ago in North Carolina for one of my workshops and we’ve been able to get together a couple of times since, including the Pinkle Toes Workshop reunion in Charleston last year. Anyway, Jody really wanted to have a lifestyle family photo session in their home as a way to preserve this time their lives as a family. As a photographer herself, she totally gets the need and desire to have images like this of her own family, but it’s definitely not something you can do by yourself with a tripod. She said over and over to me that their home wasn’t perfect (whose is???), but it was full of life and love and that’s what she wanted to make sure they documented. Perfect. Love it.

Well, a few days before I was supposed to head out to the coast, Jody said they had come down with the flu, and I mean, a knock you on your bum for days at a time flu. We pretty much gave up on making this shoot happen and we were both incredibly disappointed. However, by some miracle, they rallied! Quite literally the day before I was supposed to leave, everyone managed to put on a few smiles for a couple of hours so mama could have her lifestyle photo session in the home she loves with the people she loves. Every single person in this family deserves a huge gold star for their efforts to do this session…every one! I cannot believe they did it and even looked healthy and adorable in the process. I’m not one for pushing a family through a photo session after being so sick, but in this case, I think it worked out okay ;-).

The first image above is from the “getting ready” process (Jody talks more about that below) and I’m really quite glad to have been there for those moments. I also rather enjoyed playing auntie to Jody’s eldest daughter and fixing her gorgeous, gorgeous long hair for the shoot.

Now onto the baby girl of the family, who is like a little doll baby and obviously quite adored:
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Okay, this is their middle daughter in the heels up there. And she has such incredible personality! And she spent pretty much the entire session wearing her mom’s heels and it could not have been more perfect.

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Ohhhh…I believe I spy some gorgeous Danielle originals up there!! ;0) Danielle happens to be a friend of ours also (as well as a sorority sister of mine ;-)…small world!

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Speaking of small world…in chatting with Jody’s hubby, I learned that he lived in the same small Texas town as my husband AND his sister and I went to the same college at the same time. What???? By the way, this poor man was sick as a dog here as well, but man, he put on a good show. He was just amazing to do this for Jody and his girls!

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The three moments above = swoon.

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Ooops…swoon again over the couch snuggles.

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Are they not a perfect and beautiful and loving and fun-loving couple????

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Okay, I’m pretty sure we can all agree that Play-doh is the bane of any mother’s existence. But Jody is not just any mother and she actually lets her girls play with Play-doh AND joins in. Wow! I think I just lost first place in the Mom of the Year contest. Who am I kidding? I was never in first place 😉

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I LOVE that Jody has filled her walls with pics, by the way. The beautiful images on the stairwell are by Alice Keeney.www.pinkletoes.com

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We ended the session like THIS and by far, it was one of the most memorable session story times I’ve ever photographed. So Jody started reading Someday and I was happily snapping away, minding my own business, enjoying life and all the things that come along with it, when out of the blue, that sweet little children’s book just grabbed me by the heart and squeezed the breath out of me so hard, tears started streaming down my face and I could not control it. Jody gave me no warning that this book was going to send me into this emotional tailspin and I’m not sure if I can forgive her for that (okay, maybe I can). Oh. My. Word. If you are a mommy and you haven’t gotten Someday for your child(ren), you need to do so stat. Just make sure you have some tissues nearby. (I may or may not have bought several copies before I even left the driveway after her session).

And now, Jody’s take on the photo session:

1) Tell us a little bit about your family… We are a family of 5. Mom, Dad and three (yes.. THREE) girls, ages 8, 6 and 2. Lots of estrogen!
2) What made you decide this was the time to do a photo session? Were you marking any special occasion, etc? I’ve been a Pinkle Toes blogstalker for a while and attended Michele’s workshop in Charlotte in 2013 (which, FYI, was a game-changer for me and my business)! As soon as I heard that Michele was visiting Charleston, I knew I wanted to have our family captured by her.
3) Where was your session held and why? At home. We moved in to our house 3 days before our youngest was born and have existed in a constant state of blissful chaos ever since. I have never had an in-home lifestyle session and wanted to document this time in our family history (with my most favorite lifestyle photographer), when our girls are still little and there is just a tiny bit of baby left in each of them.
4) What did you like about your session location? Home is where we spend most of our time together, so I love the authenticity of having us photographed in our own space.
5) What was your favorite part of your session? It is hard to pick, but probably getting to play with Playdoh, or reading a book or snuggling with my girls!
6) Was there anything you were nervous or worried about before the session? If the kids would behave (the PCS is strong in this family)! [PCS = Photographer Child Syndrome and it is a very real thing.]
7) Any funny stories or interesting happenings during your session? A memorable morning indeed! Michele asked me to photograph her on the beach at sunrise in honor of the lifestyle and fitness changes she has made over the past year [I’m excited about this project!] . Since she was on such a tight travel schedule, and since I live near the beach, we decided the best time for the family session would be that same morning. So, Michele offered to help entertain the kids while I got ready and even helped style their hair. She is so sweet and generous with her time! I can’t thank her enough for the entire experience!
8) Any advice to other families before their photo sessions? Relax and have fun with it! Michele is MAGIC with her camera.
9) What made you choose Pinkle Toes Photography? Where do I begin? There is something about the way Michele is able to make beauty out of the most ordinary things and the way she is able to capture the connections between people that I find amazing.
10) What do you hope your kids/family will say years down the road when looking at these images?

“Mom and Dad really do love us/me”
“I remember that house”
“I remember that book”
“Look how little we were”
“Look how young Mom & Dad are”
“I look so much like Dad/Mom”
“This is your great-great grandmother when she was little” – [There go my tears again! Thanks a lot, Jody 😉 This is so beyond perfect and the whole reason we do what we do, my friend.]

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Continuing from yesterday’s post, after a few days spent in Georgia, we drove to Charleston, South Carolina. I was beyond thrilled to get to take my family back there after the trip I had last May with all of my photographer friends. I just couldn’t be that close to Charleston and NOT go back.

And, I couldn’t be in Charleston again without visiting with a family that I had been working with since this little one was a wee babe :-). A…it was just magical to reconnect with you and to see how she has grown up. What a beautiful child she is and I’m so glad we got to capture a piece of her childhood right here on the beach! It was a session I will never forget, my friend!

Oh, and you do NOT want to miss this balloon image HERE.

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Wait. Can we talk about that amazing dress for just one second here?

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Yes, please. And is that a goldfish in a balloon on that dress? Yes, yes it is. I want that dress. For my daughter. For myself. I want to be the person that created that dress. Okay, back to the photos of the adorable little girl, but this time, she’s in a towel, accessorized with a lollypop 😉

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From Mama:

1) Tell us a little bit about your family… We moved to Charleston, SC from Texas about 2.5 years ago and we absolutely love it here. We are a family of three girls: Mommy, Harper, and LaScala (our King Charles Cavalier). We have lots of fun and lots of laughs through a lot of fun family adventures.
2) What made you decide this was the time to do a photo session? Were you marking any special occasion, etc? Michele was coming to Charleston and we are trying to commit to one annual spring photo shoots to capture our family as each year passes.
3) Where was your session held and why? Kiawah Island …. on the beach at the Sanctuary. [In case you can’t tell in the images, this is the most magical place on Earth. My family loved it, too! And thanks so much for THIS idea, A!!!]
4) What did you like about your session location? It is a perfect representation of a child’s dream playground. It just so happens its in our backyard, figuratively speaking.
5) What was your favorite part of your session? When Harper changed into her D&G dress and then sat down in the water to play. That was my last outfit change and I thought….its over! Looking forward to seeing the candid pictures. [I present to you, a D&G dress…in the water…]

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6) Was there anything you were nervous or worried about before the session? Nope
8) Any advice to other families before their photo sessions? Just have fun and let kids be kids!
9) What made you choose Pinkle Toes Photography? I love Michele’s work and style. I was thrilled when she reached out to us stating that she was going to be in the area. Like the consistency of a family photographer that captures life changes.
10) What do you hope your kids/family will say years down the road when looking at these images? Wow….what fun!

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It was last year (and it feels like forever ago), when this Mama contacted me to see if by some chance, I would ever be interested in heading to Savannah, GA to photograph her and her sweet daughter. Once the idea was planted in my mind, I thought, “Why not?” and we started making plans for myself + my whole crew to head to Georgia over Spring Break. It turned out to be a magnificent trip all-around, but I have to say I quite enjoyed our afternoon together here. I ADORE Brandi’s decorating style and getting to witness these sweet little moments between mother and daughter was delicious!

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Looking for their other kitty. There we go!

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This one in the basket was cracking me up!

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My personal fav from inside their home HERE.

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Ohhhh…and then we got to go to the BEACH!!! Yaaaaassssssss!

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How lucky is she to have a mama so willing to let her play and hang out on the beach and get dirty and sandy and splashy and run and do all the things that little girls should do as little girls?

From Brandi:

1) Tell us a little bit about your family… Amelie and I recently moved to Savannah and share a home with our two fur babies, Macy and Lacy. We enjoy all things silly and we are always on the move (mostly because at this age, she can’t sit still).
2) What made you decide this was the time to do a photo session? Were you marking any special occasion, etc? After a long and hard divorce, Amelie and I now reside by ourselves, without her father. We have taken professional family photos annually since her birth but for the last two years we haven’t. I wanted to make sure that these years were still documented, even if it was just she and I. I want her to know that she is and always will be loved even though her parents live in different homes.
3) Where was your session held and why? I was born and raised on the coast. Now that we are living near the ocean again, Amelie will be too. There is something so peaceful and calming about the beach and I want her to always remember where she is from no matter where life may take her as an adult.
4) What did you like about your session location? It was super laid back and casual, just like our household.
5) What was your favorite part of your session? That Amelie was able to express herself and be the crazy ball of wild energy that she is. I hope she never loses her adventurous and carefree spirit.
6) Was there anything you were nervous or worried about before the session? Not really…
7) Any funny stories or interesting happenings during your session? Can’t recall anything right off but we had a lovely time!
8) Any advice to other families before their photo sessions? Just go with it…if your kid is being wild and letting their personality show, let them. My child is a total ham and I found myself wanting her to calm down and be more relaxed during the session. Looking back, I realize I was trying to get her to behave more like an adult, but she’s still a kid. Let the kids be kids…soon enough they will outgrow it. Let Michelle document their youth as it is.
9) What made you choose Pinkle Toes Photography? I’ve always wanted our lives documented in the way only Michelle can capture. I’ve admired your work for years!
10) What do you hope your kids/family will say years down the road when looking at these images? “I remember that day, Mom! It was so much fun!”

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…after having a son, it is such a beautiful blessing. I was so thrilled when I got the message that she had her baby and she was a SHE! I was so excited for her to experience the joys of having a daughter and to see what big brother would make of this new, sweet baby. She “performed” for her very first photo session (out of the womb 😉 flawlessly and I can tell how much she is loved and adored.

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She actually smiled on her own a little bit when we first wrapped her up and we worked so hard to get her to smile again. Turns out, my favorite image from the session was not the cute smile above, but instead, the moment just before it happened HERE.

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Double exposure experiment HERE.
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And what could be more adorable than daddy + daughter adoring one another here?