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  • Writer's pictureSophie Schillaci

Capturing Chaos: Our Beautiful Backyard Photo Session With Two Under Two

I had it all under control.

For weeks I planned the perfect backyard photo session (in quarantine, no less) for our little family. With an almost-two-year-old and a four-month-old, I knew that it would be tough to get them both cooperating and camera ready at the same time.

I scoped out the shady spots on our lawn hour-by-hour, so I'd know ahead of time where to direct the action and frame the shots.

I bought new outfits to surprise Everly with that morning, so she'd be excited about getting dressed.

I made sure we had plenty of bubbles on hand and even found leftover party balloons from our baby shower in the garage, blowing them up and hiding them away for the perfect reveal.

Since the shoot was meant to mark the occasion of our daughter's second birthday, I even commissioned a gorgeous little crown and wand to dazzle her during the session.

And because I was dying for a frame-able photo of our children together, I spoke with several family photographers about tactics to get the coveted shot.

I was ready. Until Everly woke up on the wrong side of the bed that morning.

Spoiler alert: I didn't get the sibling shot I was hoping for. I didn't even get a proper family shot.

Everly refused to be held or to even stand in proximity to her family. When we tried to coax her into "playing a game" on a blanket with her brother, she ran away from him like she was on fire.

She screamed and flailed. She was having none of my plan.

But once we abandoned my idea of what those two hours should look like, she was thrilled to run around chasing bubbles, listening to Disney soundtracks and wearing her new crown. (At least I was right about one thing: she loves a cute crown.) Oh, and then baby brother fell asleep.

The photos we did get are absolutely beautiful and, as our photographer describes them, a true slice of life.

The kids' solo portraits are gorgeous and we did end up capturing a few family moments at the end of our session -- but they're certainly not what I envisioned.

They are, however, a perfectly captured moment in time. And in the years to come, I know we'll look back on them smiling, knowing that they were exactly what we needed.

Have you had an epically successful toddler photo shoot? (Or an epic fail?!) I want to hear about it! Hit the comments with your story.


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