Overcast Early Fall Family Session at Retzer Nature Center

September 25, 2019

When Caity and I first started talking about booking and where her family photo session would be, we went through a few different possibilities and settled on a sunset session at Pewaukee Beach. Later that day, I posted a sunset family session that I shot at Retzer Nature Center, and Caity emailed me right away, asking if that was an option for them too, since they had had their maternity photos there with another photog and LOVED it! Of course I said YES! So that day, when it started raining off and on and the sky got darker and darker I started getting a little anxious about whether or not we’d be able to shoot! I knew that the weather would change the look of the photos compared to the previous family session I had shot there, so I nervously mentioned it while we were all about to be on our way. Well, we decided to go for it and I am SO glad we did! The overcast skies made the early fall color change so vibrant. This are utter fall perfection!

I have to tell you a little bit about how the session went, though, of course! But before I do that, let me take a little trip down memory lane back to my early days as a photographer. 2011 is when I officially started my business, but I started dabbling in photography even before that when my oldest son was just a baby, so he wasn’t very mobile. At that time I had VERY little knowledge about kids and how FAST they are. After a few attempts at family sessions with 1-3 year olds, I began wondering if this was my calling after all. Quite frankly, I’d have major anxiety every time I had a family session inquiry! Finally, after a lot of thought and some discussions with other parents, I came to the conclusion that young children are so completely unpredictable and we just have to totally embrace that and roll with it!! I made a promise to myself that I would never again let families with young kids stress me out or scare me away. I now thankfully have a lot of years under my belt now of working with young kiddos. So, when Cora first met me and right away became super shy, I didn’t start to panic!! I knew that while it might take a little bit to warm up, but that I’d find a way to win her over.

One thing you may not know about me is that I usually have candy in my camera bag. Surprisingly no, it’s not for me… it’s to win my little ones over, or reward them at the end of their session… because as a former child myself I know the joy of a surprise piece of candy! Well guess WHAT. I mentioned this to Cora and reached in my bag to find some for her only to realize that totally forgot to fill my stash!!! *facepalm* The craziest thing is I remember picking said candy up right before I walked out the door, it must have just never made it into my bag. Oh my goodness, her budding trust in me must’ve been immediately broken. There HAD to be something else. Think, Nikki, think!! Suddenly it occurred to me… what girl doesn’t love flowers!!!! So I asked her if she’d help me pick a wildflower bouquet and from that moment on, it was like we were the best of friends!! The wildflowers became a major focus of our session, but you know what, I think it worked!! What is more FALL than wildflowers, cloudy skies, and the early color pop of the changing leaves? I absolutely love this session and knew it had to be featured on the blog!

I will never forget my embarrassment about forgetting my candy stash though so Cora has a little surprise coming in the mail for her. The funny thing is, I planned to do this as soon as I realized my mistake, but Cora hasn’t forgotten either because according to mom, she’s been asking about me and the candy since the day of her session! hahah!!

Cora, what a sweet girl you are <3 I hope you enjoy your surprise when it arrives!! And M family – I hope you LOVE these photos as much as I do!


P.S. ONE MORE THING! Another way I win little kids over at sessions is I ask them if they want to help me take a picture or two. It usually works well but sometimes I have kids who then want to help a LOT! So there are a lot of pictures of Cora running away from me after she “helped” me take a picture of mom and dad. You’ll see them below! But… I just have to say, the last three pictures below? That one in the middle? Cora took that one for real! I think she may have a real eye for the art of photography!


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