Bed head, Playgrounds and Scooters :: Family Photography in Palo Alto

She’s quietly sentimental. She doesn’t gush, rave or worry about the different stages her children are swiftly cruising through. Instead she intently watches, soaking up the nuances of each stage. Allowing herself to enjoy where she is, while looking forward to what’s next.

This mom has a special quality that would sell for zillions if we could bottle it. She has figured out how to fully appreciate where she is with her children, rather than fear the inevitable change.

Meet the Brooks family (again).

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I feel like I’ve received the world’s greatest gift when I’m lucky enough to photograph a child when they first wake up. Their sleepy eyes, refusal to leave their warm bed, and a tousled mess of hair. Let’s not forget fuzzy slippers and cozy PJs.

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Once we have children, our time is not ours alone. We share it. And we find ourselves doing tasks for them on a daily basis – so much so that we don’t even realize we’re doing it. It blends into our day and becomes part of us. How many times have you brushed your daughters hair in her short lifetime? Or tied your son’s size 2T shoes? These moments matter. They won’t be little for long.

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Last year we stayed around their home for their family photo session, so this year we decided to go to place that is like a second home to many families: the park. With everyone loaded up into the car, seat belts were buckled and snacks doled out. Because we all know that snacks are needed, even if you’re only driving a few blocks.

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To this day, if I find myself at a playground, I head straight for the swings. They’ve always been a favorite of mine because the instant I kick off the ground, I’m transported back to my childhood. To a time when my biggest worry was what to do with the $5 tucked away in my red velcro wallet.

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In my world, the perfect family photo isn’t posed. It’s alive and it has a story.

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Their favorite playground has a huge cement area that is perfect for scooters. And while you can’t see what’s happening in field behind us (because I’m magical with the camera), there was a huge gathering of Live Action Role Players (LARP). I’ve only seen that kind of medieval role play on TV, so I was a bit of a gawker. And I gotta hand it to them, they didn’t break character even when all five of us stood there staring at them with our mouths half open.

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These are the kind of people you want to have as neighbors, at your school, or if you’re lucky, as your clients. They seem to roll with whatever life decides to hand them. Maybe next year they’ll don some costumes and join the LARPing. That would make for some pretty awesome family photos!

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