Whenever I'm having my initial discussion with a mom or bride about a photo shoot, I'll always ask her if she has a vision for what she'd like the shoot to be. Simply deciding to have portraits taken and choosing a photographer who matches with your style is already a lot of decisions made, so a majority of the time she'll respond with, "I"m not really sure."
So we'll start providing options. Do you like portraits taken in an open field with a breath-taking sunset in the clear expanse of sky above? Or do you find yourself drawn more toward portraits with architecture and urban life providing the backdrop?
In our experience, everyone divides into one of two camps - rural or urban portrait sessions. Once we know which camp a family or couple feels most at home in, then we can start tossing around some possible locations to see which ones resonate best with them.
So when I initially talked to Dawn about her family shoot, I asked her if she would prefer a natural landscape or urban cityscape as the setting for her family's portrait session. She said she liked both, but then shared a story with me that made the decision easy. She shared how she and her husband had raised their kids in Waco, but were now planning on moving away soon. I asked if they had any special places in Waco they wanted to remember.
And then Dawn shared how when her kids were little and the evening fussiness set in (as it often does for little ones), she and her husband would load the kids up in their car and go for a drive. They would roll windows down and play their music loud, and drive their babies through the streets of downtown Waco until they fell asleep in their car seats. It became a routine for their family, a fun way to entertain and calm the babies, as well as a cheap date night for Dawn and her sweet husband. So much of a routine, in fact, that Dawn shared they still drive through downtown with their windows down and music blaring, even though the kids are no longer babies. It was a family tradition now.
After sharing her story, I told her, "Well, we have to take your portraits downtown then."
And so we did. They weren't in a car with music blaring, but they were walking and running hand-in-hand down the very streets they've driven all these years together as a family. They were walking together, hand-in-hand down the same Suspension Bridge they had driven past countless evenings. And for just a moment, we were able to stop time and immortalize their family's bond with this special place, providing a physical reminder of the fond memories they have of their life here in #Wacotown.
I can think of no better shoot location for this sweet family.
Thank you so much, Salazars, for trusting us with your memories. We hope they hold a special place in your memory as you move on to the next adventure in your story.