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I’m going to share something I’ve learned through experience and which has proven true in most cases: whatever you expect from a person, you will get. When you tell someone that they are good, that they are beautiful, that they are talented, you will elicit that in the person. On the flip-side, when you tell or show a person that you doubt them, that they are not good enough, that they could be better…guess what? You elicit that in them, too. Granting someone your trust and confidence is one of the most valuable gifts you can extend to a person because you are helping them to put forward the reality of their own basic potential: being good.

I admit, I’ve shown up to a few photography sessions in my career, and the customer, for whatever reason, was doubtful that I was going to do a good job (funnily enough, it’s usually family and friends, lol). They might question the lighting that I’ve chosen, the equipment that I’m using or the location that we’ve selected…basically, they doubt me. It’s not a nice feeling, but I’ve learned to turn it into a personal challenge that I’ll take some crazy-amazing photos of them as proof that my 13 years of experience hasn’t been completely wasted spending time on Facebook was good for something!

However, there’s the more common (and oh-so-wonderful) experience where I show up and my customer is 100% trusting. I get to hear things like, “Whatever you want, just tell us what to do. We trust you”…music to my ears. What makes it even better is when they bring their own ideas to the table in the form of things that mean something to them. And then they release me to be inspired by their family and their lives, and because they trusted me to be good and they extended to me their confidence that I would do good work, I was good. I use this in my life constantly, trying to ignore the faults in people and confirm for them their strengths. This little tip also works miracles with children… 😉

This family was the perfect example of trusting. Little Evan had just had his first birthday and Mom and Dad wanted to do a session in their home and a very nearby golf course at the end of their street. We talked about the session ahead of time and they said that they wanted something very natural, fun and casual — my kind of family!

Taking notes from my “Session Prep” clothing guide, mom did an amazing job picking out comfortable clothes that coordinated well without being “matchy-matchy”.

mom and baby play in front of window for their folsom home portraits

They had this automobile mobile in their home and we took it down just for the pictures — I’m so glad we did because I love these.

folsom home portraits of baby playing with car mobile

We went upstairs and they had two beds in their bedroom – one up high and one on the floor. I asked what it was for and they said that it was easier to sleep with the baby down low (how sweet is that?!). I wanted to make sure we included it because it’s so much a part of their lives while Evan is little. This is only a tiny peek at the fun they had playing on that bed. And one of the best parts about it was I didn’t have worry he’d roll off, lol!

baby playing on the bed with mom and dad for these folsom home portraits

Here’s the “real” bed and a perfect spot for a beautiful casual family portrait all together. Love the colors.

perfect spot for a casual family portrait at home in folsom

Apparently…Evan likes cars…especially his Dad’s BMW M3. We did a whole series of pictures in the car – here’s one from the set. He looks as though he’s ready to take off!

baby pretending to drive his dad's bmw m3 at their folsom home for his portraits

We walked to the end of their street and they had the perfect little corner of a golf course for a family picture amongst the tall grass and the setting sun.

perfect spot in folsom for casual family portrait on the golf course

I love it when I say, “How do you feel about lying in the grass?” and the parents say, “Sure! No problem!” And then I get to take pictures like this one… *love*

lying on the grass on the golf course for portraits, baby squished between mom and dad

A big “thank you!” to this family for trusting me to create beautiful art for them and for letting me come over to play last week. It was so much fun!

And, if you liked this post, you might also like this set of family images taken in Sacramento.

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