The Hayden Family | Amanda Wose Photography

When Katie first contacted me and said that her twin boys would turn one in April, I was excited for a challenge. And a three year old? Bring it on. 

 This is reality with three kids, three and under.

This is reality with three kids, three and under.

It has been such a joy getting to know this family over the past few months, culminating in a portrait session to remember. The plan was to meet in Solomons, Maryland shortly before sunset to take advantage of that beautiful golden hour sunlight. My rockstar assistant, Katera, met me on the island an hour early to scout out the perfect location. I’d say we found it! A secluded little garden and pier, overlooking the back creek just off the Patuxent River, perfect for three young children to just let loose and be themselves.  

 The birthday boys, Charlie (left) and Henry (right).

The birthday boys, Charlie (left) and Henry (right).

My mantra during a session with kids this little is simply let go of expectations and let the kids be themselves. Elizabeth’s feisty personality shined throughout the evening, giving us no shortage of gems such as this: 

 Toddlers. Right?

Toddlers. Right?

 Nope-ing right out of that family photo.

Nope-ing right out of that family photo.

But giving Elizabeth space to be herself ensured that I captured the Hayden family exactly as it is right now – and that is the whole point! I want everyone who steps in front of my camera to feel totally comfortable to simply be themselves. Before we know it, these babies will be grown up and this craziness will be a sweet memory.

Speaking of sweet, can we talk about Katie and Mike?! Thanks to Katera, I was able to sneak away with mom and dad for a few minutes for couples portraits. Those become so rare once kids join the family, so I wanted to ensure that we got a few photos of just them.

Katie looked incredible in a yellow floral dress from Rent the Runway, and Mike beamed with laughter when I offhandedly asked him to tell me about their own wedding day five years prior. He even played along with my silly requests – makes my job absolutely effortless!

We walked over to Our Lady Star of the Sea just as the sun began to set. The kids were just about spent, but we captured some fantastic candid shots and this photo of Katie and Mike, which I just absolutely love.

I’ll wrap up with the new Hayden family portrait! I’m so happy to have met this family and I can’t wait to watch these kids grow. What an honor to have documented this time in their lives!

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  1. Deborah Karstens says:

    Amanda, thank you for sharing your story. Being an organ donor is a tremendous gift. It is truly the gift of life!

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Hi, I'm  Amanda.

As an internationally-lauded wedding photographer with a decade of experience, Amanda brings her signature timeless, editorial style and classic, romantic aesthetic to modern love stories. 

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