I definitely expect to have to work a little harder than I did this night. Usually when there are little kids involved, I drink my iced coffee before the session so I have plenty of caffeine flowing and I can engage distracted little people.

This little princess was truly unbelievable. Her parents or I would say her name and she would grin and clap and respond so warmly. I was so tickled with her happy personality.

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Here is Elliotte, one year old. An absolute sweetie pie.

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Here she is with her parents, Derek and Felicia, and dog, Kona.

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It was immediately obvious to me within just a few minutes, just how treasured this little girl is. Her parents were singing and playing games with her and she was wildly happy to be with them. They would start a song and she would finish the motions.

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I can't even tell you how much fun it is for me to give a little direction as to what I want to try, but then just capture a family interacting and enjoying each other. That is something I can encourage but absolutely can't manufacture. I love it when the connections and affection are just there. And on this night, it was definitely there.

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Her toes curled up and happy squeals coming from her mouth.

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It was clear how much Felicia and Derek adore Elliotte but also how in love they are themselves. It was fun that we met up at the pavilion and gardens where they were married four years ago.

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Elliotte is not quite walking on her own but when her mummy put her down, she raced away a few steps, her arms raised in victory. Loved that little tongue hanging out!

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I had asked Felicia to bring a blanket along to the park and she brought this gorgeous quilt that she made herself for her daughter. Here Ellie is pointing to the birds.

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Then off to the water. The light was turning golden.

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See those little pigtails in the shadow? Some chubby little hands were trying to yank them out.

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Love the smile on her beautiful mummy's face as she watches her girl love to be with her daddy.

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Felicia said that there is certainly a special something between these two. She also laughed when she described how kind and soft Derek's "disciplining" voice is when Elliotte needs correction.

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Isn't this a "happily ever after" sort of picture? And then Kona the dog started yelping from where he was tied off.....and Derek had to dash down the beach to stop the commotion.....and Elliotte finally was tired out and laid limp in her mom's arms...and we picked up to go. It is a good life.

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I've heard it's Derek's birthday today so HAPPY BIRTHDAY! You are one blessed guy...and I think you know it :) .

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