Just south of Philadelphia is this tucked-away gem called Bartram’s Garden. I’ve been here several times already over the last few years. First for a business headshot session, then a wedding, and now a gorgeous family session. Bartram’s Garden is a perfect location for just about any type of photography session. Whether you’re looking for headshots, tying the knot, or in the case of the Benjamin Family, pictures of loved ones enjoying a casual day in the park.
Flowers are abundant in this little area, along with a cute manor filled with even more gardens, pathways, and gorgeous trees. It makes me excited for autumn, which I consider my busiest family session season. Autumn will undoubtedly be a lot better than Summer, where every session has left all of us practically melting in the heat. But you wouldn’t even know it just by looking at these photos.
This adorable family was celebrating their son’s second birthday. He was just full of energy, zipping around everywhere, smelling the flowers, and very much the star of the show. When it comes to children, especially smaller ones, my sessions always do best when they are allowed to be themselves. So if they’re eager to run and play, I say let them! Don’t worry, we’ll get a few classic portraits with everyone smiling and looking directly at the camera, but do you want to remember them stiffly smiling? Or do you want to remember how much he loved his favorite truck and brought it with him?
It’s how I go about documenting my own family whenever I take the time to capture portraits of my children. I don’t want them just smiling at the camera or going ‘cheese’. Instead, I want them to be goofy, grinning, and carrying on being their usual selves. These are the memories I want to reflect on when I look back at these photos. Not a smile at the camera, but their personality captured vividly.