By Wendy Riley

As parents, typically we are filled with anxiety about getting the perfect picture of our children. “Stand up straight!”, we bark. “Say cheese”, we instruct. “Look like you love each other”, we holler as siblings are pinching and shoving each other.

We yearn for the perfect smile, the perfect outfit, the perfect pose. All of these expectations usually culminate in a large meltdown… with either the parent or the child, or both!

My hope has been to stop the madness and make the family picture taking process fun. Embrace dysFUNction, and enjoy the moment! Not one photo session has ever gone perfectly in all my time taking pictures… and that’s what makes each family’s images more authentic, beautiful and fun. I have learned to take the challenges and turn them into something unique for that family.


Is your house a cluttered mess? Who cares, I just push things to the side and shoot tight and close next to the window for beautiful light. Is your toddler refusing to wear clothes? Let them be naked, I’ll shoot them sitting down peeking out from behind the door and they’ll love playing peek a boo! Does your 5 year old boy frown and run away from the camera? I challenge them to see how fast they can run to me and my camera… magical facial expressions begin to happen!

The most important thing I have learned about the family session is patience and waiting for the moments. There have been many times parents have said, “that’s it they’re done”. Nine times out of ten, they are not done and the best images are captured AFTER the meltdown. I call these “stolen moments.”

My photo sessions are structured more like play dates or conversations with a friend. I want to get to know you and understand how you see your children. I have had an entire photo session go by, struggling for a real smile or expression to discover the child loves legos. Let’s get the legos out! Instantly, they are engaged and at peace. A click of the camera and one stolen moment is captured.

A teenage boy despises getting his picture taken… it’s universal by the way! Let him kick a soccer ball, play his guitar or hold a lacrosse stick… tension has left his face. Another click of the camera and a priceless moment is captured.

I work to make the photo session light, fun and memorable family time. This is one of the few times you are all together with no technology, distractions, or other daily chores… you are simply in the moment. I will be there to capture those stolen moments that will be cherished for ever.

These are the moments you never plan, the moments that simply take your breath away… you pause and realize, this is what it’s all about. These are the moments I hope to capture for your family.

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*Sponsored by Wendy Riley Photography