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Bloom Photography Retreat in Waco, Texas: Part I

Part I: Family Session Led by Emily Anne Photography

In March 2022, I spent a weekend with seven fellow photographers at the inaugural Bloom Photography Retreat hosted by Anna Kay Photography and Emily Anne Photography. The first day focused on introduction, education, and a family session led by Emily.

Before leaving our Airbnb, Emily went over her session flow so we knew what to expect. It was interesting to see the similarities between how she runs a session and how I carry out my own. But there were some tips and tricks that I learned from her and look forward to implementing those into my own family sessions.

Taking photos of a family during a workshop is pretty different from a session led my myself for a client. It was definitely an odd experience to roll up to a photo session with a family I knew very little about and had zero communication with before photographing them. I'm sure its also little intimidating to volunteer to be photographed by a handful of different photographers. But Emily did a great job selecting a fun, easy-going family. It didn't take very long for the whole family to relax and warm up to all of us.

One of the reasons photographers stress booking a full session, typically around one hour, is because it can take time for kids to warm up. The first 15 minutes can be a little awkward, and that's okay. It's normal. Having professional photos taken isn't a regular occurrence for most people, and it can take a few minutes to get used to being in front of the camera. Those first few minutes are all about getting to know one another and getting comfortable.

After that, that's when the magic happens. The next part of your session is all about getting those beautiful, natural images of you interacting with your family. By this point you can forget that the photographer is even there. You can focus on your kids laugh, their hand in yours, your partners' hand on the small of your back.