I wanted to write something a little different for this week. Instead of just yearning for future sessions and more days full of giggles, remembering to go back to past sessions to see how far we’ve come, how many memories we’ve documented for so many families, and how many amazing shoots we’ve had.
It is crazy easy for me to get heatstroke so going outside in summer isn’t really an option, so spring is my favorite season with March being my very favorite. Also, I didn’t really get a summer in 2019 since I spent the majority of it in Australia where it was winter. Needless to say, I’ve been mourning the loss of so many free and beautiful days and feeling kind of bad for myself. Then I came across this great idea for a blog post and was so inspired to write it.
This first image was from my very first ever portrait session. Yep. October 2016 in the parking lot of my old church with two sweet girls that I taught.
If you don’t already know the story of how I got into children’s portraits, here’s the quick version:
Since I was 4 and got my first camera from my grandpa, I’d always loved photography, but mostly took pictures of random things and nature. Well, back in mid 2016, I was scrolling Pinterest and came across some amazing child photographers and was instantly in love. I bought tons of ClickinMoms courses and ate up any kind of child photography tips I could find. And the rest was indeed beautiful history!
I also taught two classes for 1st and 2nd graders at the time and asked one of my fellow teachers about taking a few photos of her daughters right before class and she so thankfully said yes, so I spent days preparing and crafting and mood board-ing for their session. I bought flower crowns and a bunch of other little props and made these little heart-shaped bubble wands.
The girls were so great and full of childhood whimsy, and I’m still pretty dang impressed with the photos I took considering I’d only photographed people a couple other times.
Our second image takes us all the way back to 2017’s Cozy Christmas Petite Sessions in October. Jayla and Omar came into the studio for their first ever session with us and oh it was such fun!! We had ice cream, macaroons, and lots of sparkles.
I think my focus slipped in the couple of images before this and it inspired me to go all the way for an out of focus photo. I adore the look of the bokeh made by the Christmas tree, the perfect silhouette of Jayla, and the subtle action of her blowing the horn. 2.5 years later, it’s still one of my absolute favorites.
I think my focus slipped in the couple of images before this and it inspired me to go all the way for a out of focus photo. I adore the look of the bokeh made by the Christmas tree, the perfect silhouette of Jayla, and the subtle action of her blowing the horn. 2.5 years later, it’s still one of my absolute favorites.
I honestly think this next photo is also in my top 5.
At the end of 2017, I started getting into children’s fashion and commerical work. It’s a very complicated world to get in to, but I had a close photography friend who won a seat to an amazing children’s fashion photographer’s workshop but couldn’t attend. And she was an absolute angel and saint and gem and ended up gifting the spot to me! So I was off to Colorado to photograph my first professional models in my first ever rented studio space.
There were about 15 other photographers there and around the same number of child models and the workshop was so well laid out. I was definitely intimated by everyone and everything, but knew it was only one day so I put myself out there and made the most of it!
But back to the image… I took over 500 pictures that day but this one is my favorite not only because of all the firsts, but beacause of the success. I use to be pretty terrible at (and honestly still struggle with) posing people. But here, I had a pose in my mind that I wanted and knew the models I wanted to do it. In the midst of over 30 people in this studio, I directed these crazy talented models into a pose that exactly fit my vision.
And then, guess what?
Everyone started talking photos of this same pose! I was ecstatic that I had finally crafted a pose and composition that I knew was great and successful. I since won an award for this photo, which if my teenage photographer knew, she’d probably cry such happy tears of hard work paid off.
Another top 5! And another award-winning one!
March 2018 was a huge month for me. Still coming off the high from the above shoot, but also just getting rejected by Click Pro for the first time (don’t worry, I got in the next month with great scores after using some of March’s images and my new knowledge from getting rejected and have been a member ever since), I was so determined to create stunning images but have such enjoyable and magical shoots for my clients and also models for my commercial shoot coming up. I spent countless hours on Pinterest crafting the perfect mood boards and session aesthetics and pose ideas and had two of my favorite ever shoots in a span of just a couple of weeks.
This first one was Sawyer’s Ballet session. She is actually a fellow photographer’s daughter and her mom was worried about Sawyer not cooperating since she’s had her photo taken so many times. We definitely had to work fast, but we just talked and danced and twirled and oh my goodness, we created magic on that day. I honestly could have put any and all of the photos from Sawyer’s session on this list, but this one has always been my very favorite and also won an award last year!
Then came the shoot that I was probably the most nervous for of my entire career. It’s essentially how I got my internship in Sydney, Australia last summer. I contacted Tutu du Monde about interning with them as a photographer and marketer, and they sent me samples to shoot with to see if they’d be interested in further working with me. I have never worked so hard on a shoot, been in contact with more vendors and studios and modeling agencies and rental companies and makeup artists but it was such fun! We had 4 girls, three of which were professional DFW models, and we shot at The Gather in Downtown McKinney on a beautiful afternoon.
We were there for 4 hours and shot photos and video for 3 of those hours straight. It was crazy with 4 girls under 8 in twirly dresses, but once again, we created such beautiful magic and photos for their company to use.
I adore how soft and wistful these turned out. I purchased several bolts of tulle in different colors and layered them in front of my lens and all over the set. I always try to create a sort of painterly effect in my photos. Reminiscing about portraits from several hundred years ago and bring that inspiration into my work.
Cut to March 2019! Wow, so many amazing things happen in Marches. Hence why I’m so sad about this one… We did have ClickAway though so that makes up for it!
You can read more about Ava and Lili’s Unicorn Daydream session on a previous blog post, but Ava and Lili’s mom came to me wanting a colorful, whimsy-filled session for her two little girls. They loved pink, purple, sweets, and unicorns so naturally we had to do what Daydreams do best and combine everything into this dreamy session!
This particular photo was the result of about 15 bags of fluff bought from Hobby Lobby, some photoshop (bit just a tiny fit to fill in some gaps), and magic that it occured so perfectly!
The dreamy pink sunrise tones and everything poofy… I’m in love…
While I was in Australia (May-July 2019), I didn’t get to shoot many portraits, but I did have the honor of shooting a few campaigns for Tutu du Monde’s collections. My first one was shot at the Grounds at Alexandria (here’s their highly aesthetically pleasing Instagram for you) and we had three models and two assistants and me. They wanted some photos of just this one girl so I styled her jacket that she had and took her to a breathtaking flower shop in the heart of the Grounds. It was a really sweet, quiet moment with the model in the midst of a crazy commercial shoot.
We’ve made it to our last two favorites! These were actually from two sister’s back-to-back petite sessions in SLC this past winter. And what was so cute is that they fell in love with the same dress that is also my very favorite dress that I own!
The left portrait: When Miss Isa came in for her Daydream session back in November, she brought along her bunny lovey. I can’t quite remember its name, but Isa had had this bunny since she was a baby and taken it with her on her journey through her small life. But what stood out to me was that the complete love it receives that was made so evident in the beauty that has only grown with time. It joins her in life and that is not something that I want to take for granted in my photography.
The right portrait: I chose this as my favorite image of 2019 and our studio’s large canvas for so many reasons. The monochromatic tones enthrall me in addition to the subtle light to shadow. She was looking up at her father who was just about to throw a handful of creamy petals, and I felt like the perfect fly on the wall.
You can read more about this session here.
There are so many of you who has followed me since the beginning and I wanted to sincerely thank you all. And to anyone who has just joined, welcome!! There’s so many amazing things to come.
Sending much love from a cozy evening with the back door open and our crazy poodle squeaking his tennis ball to no end… Send help.
Talk to you soon! xoxo
Always with much love,
Anne | Hello Daydreamer Photography
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HELLO DAYDREAMER PHOTOGRAPHY SERVES THE DREAMERS OF DALLAS, PLANO, HIGHLAND PARK, MCKINNEY, & FORT WORTH. HDP ALSO TRAVELS TO SELECT DESTINATIONS INCLUDING CHICAGO, ATLANTA, NEW YORK, LOS ANGELES, & SALT LAKE CITY WITH PREMIER, AWARD-WINNING PHOTOGRAPHY SERVICES INCLUDING LUXURY CHILDREN’S DAYDREAM PHOTOGRAPHY SESSIONS, BABY CAKE SMASHES & MILK BATHS, & ENTREPRENEUR/MODEL/CORPORATE HEADSHOTS