There’s just something about the love between a mother and her son. It’s a bond that is unexplainable, unbreakable. Especially when the son is the only one. The only child. The one who gets all of her love, her attention, her concern, her devotion. He is her whole world. And although he may not know it, or show it… she is his. My husband, an only son himself, says it’s a gift. One that no one but the two of them will ever understand. And after spending time with this adorable Mother-Son duo, I am 100 percent certain he is right.

My hubby and I met Heidi at one of our favorite local hangouts, the Handlebar. She’s the kind of person who always has a smile for you, and a kind word, or funny anecdote. She lights up a room. Then I met her son Michael, who, although quiet and shy, has that certain charm about him that just draws you in… much like his mom. And that hair! Gah! Gorgeous thick red hair that you just want to run your fingers through. They are both so adorable, it’s obvious they share the same stunning genes.

And when Heidi told me she and Michael had never had family photos… well I knew we had to remedy that immediately! Michael was reluctant to get in front of a camera… but since Mother’s Day was here… well, let’s just say that it was easier to convince the teen to give in to his Mom’s wish. 😉

We met at the Superstition Mountain Museum, and spent the afternoon taking some long awaited, much anticipated family photos. The golden light of the setting sun, the warm rustic buildings, and the majestic mountain backdrops… they made this session beautiful for sure. But they can’t hold a candle to the love that is evident between Heidi and Michael. And I was honored to capture it for them.

Heidi & Michael, thank you for the laughs, the joy, the love! But most of all, for trusting me to take your first official family photos. I hope you absolutely adore them as much as I do! 💕

©Mindy Deluca, Life Story Photography.

The GEAR used for this Session:

Nikon D750

Nikon 85mm f/1.8

Nikon 50mm f/1.4

Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8


Neighbors who are really cool. Aren’t they the absolute best kind? I am so, so fortunate to live in an amazing community, in a beautiful location, filled with awesome people. And I was lucky enough that one of my awesome neighbors asked me to photograph a few of her family members before the holidays.

This particular family is not only gorgeous, but so sweet as well. We met at my neighbor’s home and spent the evening together exploring the desert, hanging out on the patio, learning to use scissors (they were child-proof, I promise!), sneaking a chocolate or two (or six), and having some laughs when the Tickle Monster came around.

What started out as a plan for ‘family holiday photos’ actually turned into more of a lifestyle photo session. I love that the bulk of this session is filled with candid, mostly un-posed photos. In fact, the majority of most of my sessions are taken when things are just “happening”. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Because what I see when I look at these…. is real. Real emotions, real beauty, real delight, real hugs, real laughter, real joy, real family, and real love.  And what in the world is better than that?  💕

We started by taking a walk on the road in front of their home, and we were surprised and entertained by what came rolling…. or more like trotting…. down the road.

Family Photo Session at Home, November 27, 2015. Photo: Mindy DeLuca

Family Photo Session at Home, November 27, 2015. Photo: Mindy DeLuca

One of the fabulous things about just rolling with a session and letting things unfold as they will….. You never know when you’re going to see a Miniature-Horse Drawn Carriage. I mean, don’t you have one of these in your neighborhood? 😵  Mr. D was a little startled by the pony & buggy at first – thankfully Dad’s leg was there to hide behind!), but Miss S was mesmerized.

Superstition Mountain Family Photos_Holiday_Kline Family_1

Mr. D is not only a super handsome doll-face, but an explorer extraordinaire. Watch out ladies…. 😍

Superstition Mountain Family Photos_Holiday_Kline Family_3

THIS. This is what I’m talking about. Big bear hugs for Dad, and slipping in between their legs while Mom and Dad steal a kiss….. ❤

Superstition Mountain Family Photos_Holiday_Kline Family_4

Miss S was quiet and shy for a bit, but when she smiled…. The whole desert lit up!

Superstition Mountain Family Photos_Holiday_Kline Family_5

Dads, sometimes you just have to be silly to get those gorgeous grins. 😃

Superstition Mountain Family Photos_Holiday_Kline Family_6

When only pulling out the Tickle Monster will do….. Miss S was blocking her big brother, and not exactly amused…. But I just think this is the sweetest photo of this incredibly sweet family! ❤

Family Photo Session at Home, November 27, 2015. Photo: Mindy DeLuca

Family Photo Session at Home, November 27, 2015. Photo: Mindy DeLuca

©Mindy Deluca, Life Story Photography.

Photos: Life Story Photography


The GEAR used for this Session:

Nikon D750

Nikon 50mm f/1.4

Nikon SB-800 Speedlights

Kids act like children!

Aiden (12 of 39)

One of the things I LOVE about being a photog is that every shoot is different. And as much as I try to prepare before the session, each one is slightly unpredictable as well. That’s the exciting part! But of course, there are some shoots that are more unpredictable than others. You remember that TV show, “Kids say the darndest things!”??? Uh, huh…. well, they also DO the darndest things…. especially when you want them to do something else!

Photographing kids…. you’ve got to move fast, talk funny, act goofy, think happy thoughts, and frankly, sometimes you just gotta’ hope for the best.  Let’s face it…. kids run the show! :)  You schedule activities around nap and eating times and if they are cranky, well, then you better have a bag of tricks up your lens!

Parents want to see happy faces for pictures, of course. And sometimes, when that doesn’t happen right away, it’s not the child, but the parent who ends up in a tizzy.  But, as a photog, you have to be prepared for it all… meltdowns, crying fits, grumpy faces, you name it. So PLEASE, do not feel embarrassed or apologize if your child’s mood is, lets say, ‘less than perfect’. I prefer to go with the flow, and would love it if you would do the same. It helps put your kiddo at ease. And in the end, I want your photo session to be an enjoyable experience for everyone!

Aiden (10 of 39)

Aiden (34 of 39)

The best way to achieve happy kiddo pics is to just let them be kids! If they want to run around the open field at the park we are shooting at, great! Let them, and I will follow! If they want to sit on the blanket and have you read them a book, awesome! Do that! (TIP: BRING BOOKS AND TOYS AND WHATEVER ELSE YOUR CHILD LOVES!) If they want to explore the surroundings, perfect! It’s in those times of wonder, exploration and amazement that magic is made! Typically once I have allowed them to do their thing, it is much easier for them to be coaxed into sitting or standing with Mommy and Daddy for a nice portrait. And you know what else? Sometimes those grumpy or “serious” faces….. well, they can be photography GOLD!

Aiden (39 of 39)

The point is…. I want them to be themselves and photograph that. And isn’t that what parents want also, when you look back on the pictures, to have them capture the true essence of your child?

PS…. The handsome little fella who is featured in this blog post only had one episode of actual crying (which, of course, is shown on the top pic). To be honest, it’s one of my favorite shots of the day. Because really, parents…. one day, you will look back on this and laugh.