I am always grateful when a family chooses me to be their Tybee photographer during their visit to our quaint island, especially when there are many talented photographers that work in Tybee, Savannah and the low country in general. But when the Steffen family has already made plans and reservations to travel all the way from Illinois to stay at Hilton Head, yet finds your work and not only hires you, but makes the drive to Tybee because they trust what you do and want you to do it in the location your most intimate with, man, that’s just humbling beyond words.
Holly and her husband Jason, along with their son Holden and six-month-old Huntley came ready to play. These guys had me inspired by how relaxed and relatable they were from the moment their feet hit the sand. It sounds silly and obvious, but the more a parent connects with a child on their level during a photo session, the better the images become. I always encourage parents to be as excited and fascinated by whatever captures their children’s attention and imagination. Get down on their level or join them in whatever the activity may be. And by all means, don’t take life so seriously. It’s your kids and you’re at the beach for a family vacation. They’ll be moved away, married and only visiting during the holidays before you know it.
When Holly sat right down in the sand cuddling and engaging her children I knew this was going to be a special session. Jason was equally open and unhesitant when it came to getting in the water or getting sandy. Even little Holden was so delicate and endearing in his interactions with his new baby sister, bringing her small gifts or gently touching her foot or head. I just love when people get past the little things that don’t truly matter and they see the value of the bigger picture. I’ve been a Tybee photographer for years and it happens often, but it never gets old and my heart usually beats faster and I lose tract of time as much as my families do.