One thing that I try to stress over and over again in my professional photography workshops is to have a plan, but be willing to accept it when that plan has to totally go out the window. For this session, we had an amazing plan and Linsey, oh, Linsey worked so hard coming up with most ADORABLE campfire and s’more set up. The weather was perfection, the light was stunning, the outfits she put together were bright and happy, but when we first got together that night, I didn’t think anything would end up bright and happy. You can read all of the details in Linsey’s perfectly written blog post, but I’ll sum it up for you in four words: kids will be kids.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: in my heart of hearts, I honestly did not think we were going to pull this session off. Bless them, they drove all the way in from the Houston area and Linsey was trying so hard to keep everyone happy and cheerful. We were getting desperate. Some lovely stranger at the park even ran to her car to get us a band-aid for the little guy when he fell. I think everyone at the park took pity on us that evening. When it was clear that it was hopeless, I finally took Linsey aside so we could re-evaluate our situation. I said, “We have to come up with a Plan B in case we can’t pull it together before the sun goes down. What are the three most important things to you that you want me to capture in this session?” She looked at me with her big beautiful eyes and said with complete and heartfelt conviction, “I need to look pretty. I need the kids to smile. I need our family interacting together.” Not too much to ask at all. We can do this. I know we can do this!

And wouldn’t you know it that as soon as we had decided to call it a night, miraculously, the kids rallied and we accomplished our goals for the evening: 1) Linsey looked BEAUTIFUL, even when she was surrounded by tears and chaos, 2) the kids DID smile, and 3) everyone came together and looked like they were having the time of their lives. Whew!!!! Thank you so much, Linsey, for hanging in there that evening and for not giving up on me ;-). I hope you can look back on these images and maybe have a little giggle to remember what we went through to get this. And in case you can’t remember:

P.S. You can check out Linsey’s beautiful photography HERE!