The Little Moments: 3rd Birthday!

Today was my daughters 3rd birthday. We wanted to do something special for her, so we went out to the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area here in Cochise County. She loves nature, she loves running around, and she loves the San Pedro. We bought lunch at Fry’s on our way out – potstickers, black forest ham pinwheels, and spicy California rolls – and headed out to one of the covered table areas. Right next to the ramada was a birdfeeder attached to a tree, and a sock feeder hanging near us as well. I got some shots of the birds, but they weren’t to comfortable with the sound of my camera. I think I got some reasonable first shots, showing a bit of what we were doing and where we were.

The next step, after eating lunch, was to start the fairy shoot for my daughter. She was super excited when she saw the fairy dress her Auntie Jesse got for her, and her Nana – my good friend Sly – bought her a brand new fairy wand! She really loved running around in that dress, even if she tripped a few times!

My daughter follows directions well, even if it can take a few times to get her in the right spot or looking at the right thing. She is definitely photogenic, most of the time. Her cousin, HealtherLynn, is one of the most adorable little girls I have seen – she has huge eyes, a mouth that naturally pouts, and such perfect coloring for the desert. Unfortunately, she is not had the best of luck with photographs. She is a very animated child, loves running around and exploring, especially when she has places to hide. I wanted to capture some of that natural curiosity, some of that innocent nature she has, but she didn’t give me much of a chance!

All in all, today was a very exciting day. There will be more pictures to come, we didn’t get some of the shots we wanted – all of us, including me, were getting cranky, over-heated, and sore from running and walking.

I am proud of my daughter, she has been such a joy in my life and she is growing up so much. She surprises me each and every day with how much she really knows, how observant she is, and how shockingly mature she can be for a 3 year old. She is not without her tantrums, her meltdowns, and her bad days – but who amongst us is not without those.

8 thoughts on “The Little Moments: 3rd Birthday!

    • Thank you so much! She is definitely an amazing little girl, and a natural in front of the camera. I have found that children are difficult to photograph, but I was blessed with two – my son and my daughter – who are so easy to work with πŸ˜€


      • I find that children are only difficult to photograph when parents have a pre-conceived idea about what they want their kids to do for the camera and the kids don’t want to do it. When I photograph children, I let the kids be themselves as much as the parents will allow, and then the kids are easy. It looks like you let your kids be themselves.


      • Mostly yes, I do have some ideas for adorable shots, but I keep them few in number and I span them out over the shoot – most of the pictures are captured during their random play, running around, exploring their surroundings. I prefer more natural photos opposed to studio work in most situations πŸ˜€ Thank you again!


      • I took my portable studio to photograph a couple’s three kids. Turns out all three kids are autistic. We just let them go wild and made a game out of the photo shoot. In one of the games, I got the oldest boy to look at the camera and ham it up. I learned later that was the first time he had ever looked straight into a camera. I spent a lot of time photographing those kids, and I think the shoot was so successful because 1) other photographers, including the parents, didn’t let the kids just play. 2) No one ever took the time to let the kids get comfortable enough that they would follow directions and look at the camera. 3) I don’t think other photographers had thought about making a big game out of the photo shoot. The parents showed me photos by other photographers and they were all attempts at the standard studio poses, which were complete fails when dealing with autistic kids.


      • Oh wow, that is wonderful! I bet it was a magical experience for both you and those wonderful kids πŸ˜€ And it is true that most photographers don’t see the fun and play when it comes to kids – they hate being forced to sit still, be quiet, and smile. The pictures always turn out so much better when you are able to catch them in their element, being kids, learning/exploring their surroundings. πŸ˜€


  1. “And it is true that most photographers don’t see the fun and play when it comes to kids ..” I think that the root problem is that they have lost the fun and play in photography, turning it from creative work to a job.
    Again, I am a fan of capturing natural moments instead of posing. Beautiful work V.


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