For the last few years, I've been taking my children's annual photos instead of heading to the photographers. The quality of the "professional" portraits wasn't particularly high. The last professional photo package was created from a photo showing my young son with a runny nose. (Although great for the laugh factor, not how we want to remember him years from now.) I think one of the greatest advantages to taking the photos myself is that I take a huge variety of poses and backgrounds throughout the year so we have a great deal of variety.
I've taken portrait shots several times this year at our city's arboretum. During today's photo session, my 3 year old would NOT look at me. Several of the older children tried to get her to smile and look towards the camera. I ended up with a few usable shots and one shot that looks nothing like her.
This fragile, delicate flower is not the child with the iron will who lives in my home.
This photo catches her outgoing, mischievous personality. I can believe that this is the same child doing back-flips off the couch last night, even after I told her to stop.