“Once there was a tree, and she loved a little boy.”
― Shel Silverstein, The Giving Tree

Combine a family photography session with good light, our favorite book, a veteran, and a Life + Lens Blog directory member and you get perfection.

What We Love:

Marisa: I am primarily a desert photographer (there is not much else around here) but for this session we drove about 50 minutes from home to this amazingly GREEN paradise in the middle of the desert. I arrived early with my husband to explore and look for beautiful light. The preserve is fairly large with lots of trails so there were tons of options (if we were willing to walk).

I know this family personally and knew there were itty bitties but I was feeling ambitious, thinking we could all walk into the park a bit. As soon as they arrived I quickly re-assessed as my own mom instincts kicked in. A long walk close to toddler/baby bedtime might totally send this session off the rails. I decided to get started with some family shots right there near the parking lot. I spotted the perfect little nook of greenery with sun streaming in through the trees…you’d never know it was right next to the bathroom (sometimes you have to look for beauty in unexpected places, right?!).

We stayed right in that spot for a long time…family shots, couple shots, individual kid shots! We pulled out some books for a little family reading time (something near and dear to this family’s heart) and aptly chose “The Giving Tree”, perfect for us desert dwellers soaking up the beauty of the trees around us.

Eventually we walked just a short ways down the path for a slight change in scenery. And that’s when it happened…. we captured the most epic family shot….the shot that we thought would be impossible. Mom had mentioned during our pre-consultation that she would love a picture of her and her husband kissing while the kids covered their eyes. The only problem? The littlest is 8 months old! Add to that the fact that she was starting to get tired and hungry by this time.

We resigned to the idea that the shot would be mom and dad kissing, older brother covering his eyes, and little sister being fussy. Classic parents trying to have a moment amid the chaos portrait, right! I start clicking away and suddenly that sweet little baby covers her face! I couldn’t believe it! Now this might have just been coincidence but I like to think she picked up what I was putting down (or maybe decided to copy whatever big brother was doing)! Either way, I say she’s one smart cookie!

This session was extra special because it captured a time of reunion for this sweet family. Dad had been away for a while serving his country and they had been reunited as a family for just a few short weeks at the time of this session. The love and joy a family feels after a reunion like that is like none other. Its like the feeling you have in the best moments of you life – when you fall in love, when you get married, when you have babies. These families know heart ache and struggle but they also know that joy of reunion over and over again and its absolutely beautiful!

Rachel and Lisa: This outdoor family photography session is a recipe for success.  We LOVE the Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (who doesn’t), we LOVE our veterans (who doesn’t), we LOVE beautiful family sessions (well if you are a fan of Life + Lens Blog, then we know you do), we LOVE that Marisa included prop vendor links as resources for our readers, and we LOVE supporting our directory members!! This session has it ALL!!! ENJOY!

Camera: Canon 6D

Lens: Sigma Art 50 1.4

Props:

Wood Crate by The Painted Cactus

Wood Bowl by Mr & Mrs. And Co.

Location: Big Morongo Canyon Preserve in Morongo Basin, California.

 

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Where to Find Marisa McDonald Photography:

Website: www.marisamcdonaldphotography.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/marisamcdonaldphotography

Instagram: www.instagram.com/marisamcdonaldphotography

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What inspires you about this session? Leave a comment below!

We are always accepting submissions for possible features on the blog. Please see our Submission information for further directions. We are looking to showcase family photo sessions as well as milestone celebrations (birthday parties, baby showers, cake smash, religious celebrations) and style inspiration for both home (nursery, kids’ rooms.. ) and family photography sessions (what to wear, packaging, etc.)

Looking for more family photography inspiration? Try this sweet family session from Happy Photographer.

What would you like to see featured on Life + Lens Blog? We’d love to hear from you!

Life, Lens + Love,

Lisa and Rachel

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