My boys are ALL boy.

They are wild, brave, and messy. It's a consistent game of pulling rocks and hot wheels out of the dryer and if I get through the day without someone bleeding- I call it a win! So when it came time to take their birthday pictures (both are summer babies) I wanted to do something in their element. We love hiking and water as a family, and one of our favorite local spots is Burgess Falls State Park. We stayed at the upper falls level, and let them run wild.

I'm a sucker for Carhartt, and these overalls without undershirts showed off those cute little arms! Kage had to start with his farm boots (they are his FAVE) but eventually kicked them off because barefoot is the way we role around here. I also let Kage bring along his white park ranger truck (yup- exact replica of the real ones lol- he is obsessed with it!) because it seemed fitting. Kai doesn't really have anything he likes yet, and you can forget keeping shoes on him. HA I don't even have the patience to try!

It was a hoot watching Kai crawl around. He screamed when KJ would try to pick him up, so we just let him do his thing. We laughed looking at the finished product because we probably look like bad parents lol- but KJ was right next to him the whole time. Just a bit of magic in Photoshop and he disappeared! Kage found the biggest rocks he could find and threw them in, we let them sit under one of the water falls, and played games of who could splash the biggest. After we were done, we played hide- and-seek on the park's playground then went home. It's always great when they fall asleep on the ride home!

In my opinion, the best photos are the fun ones.

They are only this age once- and all of us mommas know it goes by QUICK. I see that the more I let kids play in their element, the more the smile and are comfortable in front of the camera. So finding a place that kids enjoy going to, letting them play naturally, and asking for smiles along the way is my best trick. Pictures don't have to be stressful, they can be fun for everyone involved. Think about the kids you're shooting and tailor to them. Also- there's nothing wrong with bringing some candy or snacks- I'm not above a good bribe!


For the LOVE of photos- print them! Even if you keep 4x6 photos in a shoe box- PRINT YOUR IMAGES. I update mine in my home about once a year- here is an example of prints I put in our hall near the boys' rooms. I probably have 12-15 pieces from Smallwood Homes- love their quality and their pricing!