More Moms and Dads in the Picture Please | Orange County Family Photographer

One of my favorite parts of photographing families is showcasing moms and dads, sans kiddos, in the frame.

Dad and mom smiling at eachother, holding hands in Cedar Grove Park in Tustin, California.
Asian couple lying in the park. Mom and dad lying on a Native American motif blanket in Cedar Grove Park in Tustin, California. 

During a session, I'll make it a point to pull them aside (usually when the little ones show signs of restlessness) and ask the kids to hang out or play nearby, so that I can have some fun with the two people who are so often not in photos at the same time.

Mom and dad holding hands dancing in the park. Cedar Grove Park, Tustin, California.
Mom and dad holding hands dancing in the park. Cedar Grove Park, Tustin, California.

I have yet to shoot a couple who has not been into it.

Mom and dad holding hands, smiling at each other in the park. Cedar Grove Park, Tustin, California.

Sometimes when I make the suggestion that "It's just going to be you, Mom and Dad," I'll get surprised looks followed by confusion, or off-handed remarks about taking engagement photos all over again.

I love that!

Woman gazing at husband lying on the grass in the park. Noguchi Sculptural Garden in Costa Mesa, California.

If taking a photo with your spouse or partner confuses you, or if the last time you took photos together was during your engagement or wedding, then something's not right!

Wife gazing at husband lovingly while sitting on the grass in the park. Noguchi Sculptural Garden in Costa Mesa, California.

And guys, I'm not talking about the casual snapshot when you're both giddy at the mic in front of the karaoke screen on your only wild night out, or the inevitable, haggard-looking selfie taken in the shadow of the Magic Kingdom as your strapped-in kid in your precariously-tipped stroller is wailing in the background.

Wife smiling as husband while dancing. Beacon Park in Irvine, California.
Dad and mom hugging and laughing. Beacon Park in Irvine, California.

I'm talking about a decent, well lit, moment-in-time photograph of the two of you so lost in each other's company that you forget about the camera all up in your face, or the photog, moi, who momentarily orders you to "Hold it!" in awkward or uncomfortable positions. Repeatedly.

Mom and dad hugging and smiling while basking in the golden hours of the afternoon at the park. Cedar Grove Park in Tustin, California.
Asian couple. Mom holding dad and looking into each other's eyes in the park. 

Understandably, most of us are not comfortable being put on the spot like that.

Mom whispering into dad's ear and telling a secret while dad smiles. Pelican Hill Resort in Newport Beach, California.
Dad and mom holding hands and smiling at Pelican Hill Resort in Newport Beach, California. Christine Kong of Daily Kongfidence.
Asian couple. Dad telling a secret to mom while mom smiles. Pelican Hill Resort in Newport Beach, California.

Cuz unless you’re livin’ like the Teigen-Legend's, couples photography, no matter how natural and blissful it can look, very likely does not feel natural at all to even the most blissful of couples.

Mom and dad smiling and gazing into each other's eyes in the park. Pavilion Park in Irvine, California.
Dad kissing mom as mom is smiling. Pavilion Park in Irvine, California.

Good thing I'm armed with tricks up my sleeve that I'm ready to pull out if need be. Tricks, or rather, tips that draw out and enhance what already exists.

Mom and dad dancing in the park and smiling at each other. 

Don’t bother asking any of these moms and dads to spill the beans because I have them sworn to secrecy. 

Mom and dad hugging and laughing while basking in the golden hours of the afternoon at the park. Cedar Grove Park in Tustin, California.

Just make sure you book me for a family sesh one of these days and I’ll make sure to let you in on the secret.

Dad and mom sitting in a grove of cedar trees holding hands and smiling at each other.
Asian couple:  mom lying on dad's lap in the grassy field at Cedar Grove Park in Tustin, California.

Here's one for posterity — the very first photo taken of us.

Back when we first started dating. 

Back when we were babies. 

My, how time flies.

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