I have two absolute favorite family sessions:

  1. The first time I photographed the Nichols family.
  2. The second time I photographed the Nichols family.

Seriously. This family is a photographer’s dream. They know the ingredients to the perfect family session, and while I know what to do on my part to get this, I asked Kelly, the mama bear of the family, to tell me how she also gets the family to give me such authentic moments during their shoot.

“When we book our family sessions with Zai, we want her to capture our kids being themselves,” she wrote when I asked. “We want their real authentic smiles captured, and their personalities to be seen through her images. We always tell Zai that we trust her talent and to do her thing. She chases our boys around and makes them feel comfortable, makes then laugh and gets those priceless images each time. They’re the exact moments and expressions I want to remember forever.”

I swear I didn’t pay Kelly to write that.

Trust is exactly it. When I feel that families trust me, that they don’t have precise instructions for what to get and come to their shoot ready for fun, that’s when we all shine.

Kelly’s dress: Flynn Skye at Revolve
Boys’ wardrobe: Boden,  JCrew & James Vincent Design & Co.