Orinda Family Photography | Orinda Community Park

Wallis rolled ahead of me in her little tricycle, looking back at me skeptically, unsure of whether or not to trust this lady with a camera. She trailed behind her older brother Julian who was mostly disinterested in vetting me out. I would have to win them over, mostly by staying back and letting the candids fly.

After putting aside the bikes, Wallis moved on to the weightless magic of the swings, and then she went over to the sandbox to sculpt her very own creation, a watery, sandy sludge better known as “birthday cake.” I watched her meticulously scoop water from her favorite old water fountain and walk it back to the little yellow bucket of hers. Eventually, by the very end of the session, I had her running around chasing after her brother with deadly kisses as her weapon. I’d like to think I won her over.

Meanwhile, once Julian found himself on the tire swing with endless possibilities for turns and spins, all was right in the world.  And by the second half of our time together, Julian was educating me with a very thorough character analysis of Harry Potter, concluding that his mother was most like Mrs. Norris, the cat.

Thank you so much, Mona, for your flexibility and for entrusting the process to me. Sometimes it takes a bit of running around and allowing the kids to do what they will to capture these kinds of real, beautiful moments. I absolutely love, love, love, these photos.

Wallis makes a birthday cake for the dog, complete with birthday song!

Love this photo. Favorite.