From Libby Hill Park to Cherry Hill Park

Shortly after our arrival in Falls Church Fiver asked me something along the lines of, “Do you know what’s good about moving?”  I must have been playing Tetris with the boxes in the closet because I remember my response  verbatim. “No, son, I really don’t. Please tell me.”  He told me that you get to keep your old friends and you get to make new friends too.  That’s actually good information but I wasn’t in much of a place to hear it, much less think about what it might mean for my business.

By fall though I was beginning to come around.  I decided to try and set up a Family Day in Falls Church at a new jaunt of ours, Cherry Hill Park, amidst its impressively tall pines and big, grey barn.  Thanks to Cortney (thank you, thank you, thank you!) I booked the day solid and an old friend helped me start something new.

I’ve changed my tune when it comes to mini sessions.  In the past I found them posey and less enjoyable for everyone involved.  It seemed like someone in the group was always “off” and that I was always running out of time to make magic happen.  The result?  A whole lot of bribery during the process and and a lot of head swapping in Photoshop afterwards.  I decided mini sessions weren’t really “my thing”.

Realistically though, not every family can hack a full session and sometimes a wee update is all that’s really needed.  I decided that the process was in need of change, not necessarily the product.

Family life isn’t lived sitting still.  And its rare that everyone is smiling at the same time and looking in the same direction when it comes to just about anything.  So why do we try so hard to make it look that way when we send out our holiday wishes?  We should take some advice from our Elsa obsessed daughters who are always singing, “let it go…”

So I did.  We played games.  We held contests.  We ran all over the place, dropping coats and layers like oversized breadcrumbs.  I got so many high fives my hand nearly fell off.  Compliance wasn’t a problem from the oldest participants to the very youngest, I can’t recall a single reminder of a reward promised being uttered.  It was actually fun!  Instead of seeing the short timeframe as a handicap I made it an advantage and instead of telling kids to smile I gave them things to do so that the smiles came all on their own.  Its a subtle difference but the proof is in the pudding and I can’t wait to try it again in a new and different context.

Revisiting these pics makes me excited to meet up with these fantastic families again and motivates me to keep pursing new relationships, new methods, and new ideas in this new place.   That boy of mine is seriously onto something.

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