Sometimes photo shoots don’t exactly go as planned. But you know what? That doesn’t make them bad. In fact, it can actually have the opposite effect. I’ve said this before, but what I really aspire to do as a photographer is capture stories. Not always happy, always perfect stories. Real stories. Ten or even twenty years from now, aren’t you going to love that photo of your toddler’s melt down because smiling for the camera didn’t make her top ten list of favorite things that day? Think about photos from your own childhood. Are you lucky enough to have some of these not perfect, but still so special photo gems in your possession? Lucky for us, we got both kinds of photos from this session. Mostly happy, with a little touch of real. My friend Tracy, pictured with her absolutely adorable family below, is an amazing mother. After failing to convince her rather determined 3 year old to wear the outfit Tracy had selected for her, the little girl was allowed to wear her own hand selected outfit (down to her bow, bracelet and nail polish). It made the photos even better. Realness level: 10. Fall leaves gorgeousness level: 10.