What a memorable family session at Gates Pass! The Hogan family, which consists of Kourtney, David, and their kids Kyler and London, were really looking forward to family photos at this iconic location.
In the late 1800s, Gates Pass used to be an important shortcut through the Tucson mountains. These days, the pass is used as a scenic route, which makes it absolutely perfect for family photos. It’s just as pretty as it ever was, especially in the golden hour light.
The road can be a little perilous at certain parts, but the breathtaking mountain views of Tucson more than makeup for it. That’s exactly the kind of vibe Kourtney was looking for, so when we thought of Gates Pass, I knew we had found the spot. There are plenty of trails around that allow us to get up close and personal with the native plants.
From the scenic lookout to the Gates Pass trail, there are a ton of different options to go for. Since it was a public trail, I kept my eyes out for photo bombers. Fortunately, we didn’t encounter many people, so we had the whole place to ourselves. That gave us a ton of opportunities for creative freedom.
Kourtney warned me ahead of time that we might have trouble getting the kids to participate.
“Kyler can be difficult to get him to do certain poses or even smile, but he usually comes around. London will smile big when told “cheese.” London has autism and is considered non-verbal. She enjoys being around adults and will try to get you to hold her or will reach for your hand to hold.”
I wasn’t phased at all! During the session, seven-year-old Kyler decided that he didn’t want to smile for me. He wasn’t so sure about participating, so I let him play with rocks while he warmed up to the idea. After a while, when he realized that I wasn’t going to tell him what to do, he came around and started to enjoy the session.
I never force kids to do something they’re uncomfortable with. That way, they’ll associate family photos with happy memories, so next time they’ll be looking forward to the experience. Instead, I like to let the kids have some freedom, which gives us some candid moments that showcase the stage of life your family is in right now.
London, who is three and a half, was as cute as could be. With her giant smile and hair bow to match, she warmed up to me right away. Without any effort at all, she brought a spark of laughter to every photo she was in. She was such a joy to be around!
Of course, we had to take a gazillion photos of mom and dad, too! They made things extra special by incorporating a lantern that they’ve had with them since their wedding day! I thought that was such a unique and personal touch that tied their love story together. It’s so subtle in the background, but anyone who was there at the wedding will recognize it immediately. (Think you can spot it? It shows up in a total of 3 images!)
Kourtney and David, it was a pleasure to meet you and your sweet kids during our family session at Gates Pass. I loved helping you create the Gates Pass family photos of your dreams! It was an honor to document this part of your life story. I wish you the very best as you live life to the fullest.
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