That’s all I could think of that evening, when my friend Betty Jane’s daughter, Caroline, stripped out of her beautiful white dress only four minutes into our session. Betty Jane had cautioned that they never have their photos taken – that Caroline hadn’t napped, and she didn’t know how she’d behave – but I didn’t think anything of it.
And yet, there we were. It was clear that Caroline had no interest in wearing a dress or participating in any photos. A true Florida child, she threw her dress to the ground, ran towards the pristine water of Clearwater beach and plopped down, where she would remain for the next 10 minutes. With her hands in the watered down sand, she occasionally looked up to glance at me, but for the most part… zero interest in me, my gear, or my agenda.
Betty Jane looked at me and shrugged. Like many toddlers, Caroline would not be easily tricked into posing, and I knew that if we were going to capture any photos that evening… they were going to be derived from a completely natural, familiar toddler place: play. Betty Jane and I knew what we had to do… anything to get the shot, right?
And so Betty Jane started running. “Come get mommy, Caroline!” she shouted, as she raced along the shoreline. Sure enough, Caroline peaked up with a grin, and began running fast after her mother while I tried to capture each loving embrace when “the catch” finally happened. Our session was pretty much one big game of tag, but I wouldn’t trade the images we caught from these real interactions for anything!
I absolutely adored this session for so many reasons, but primarily, I love how these images remind me vividly of childhood, summertime, and the coveted vacation to the beach. I love the honest, intimate moments captured between mother and daughter. I love the glow of the sun as it bounces off the white sand and Caroline’s beautiful blonde curls.
How wonderful it is to be a mother. How beautiful it is to be a child.