The beginning of a photography career is very difficult. You often have so much competition and you need to find a way to build up a valuable portfolio that will help you stand out from everyone else. Enter your closest family and friends.

Luckily for me, some very close friends of mine just welcomed the most precious little boy into the world. His parents were so supportive and told me I could use him as a model. I introduce to you, the beautiful, Declan Michael.

At the time of our photo shoot, Declan was just a little over a month old so I treated it much like a newborn session: cute baskets, warm fluffy blankets, props and decorations and of course, an adorable little outfit. He comes from a very Irish family, so the theme was a no-brainer: St. Patrick's Day. After a few weeks of planning and prepping, I was ready to take my equipment and decorations and head over to this exciting session. The setup was very simple: backdrop stand, backdrop, two lights and the props. A nice simple setup for an in-home session.

All dressed and ready, Declan was the star of the show. He was better than I ever could have imagined. He was awake the whole time, but he was so calm and cozy. (I would like to give some of that credit to the blanket he was laying in. Who wouldn't snuggle in to a blanket that fluffy?!) We changed the set around a few times, just to get a good variety of shots. And let me tell you, they were all CUTE. Little Declan was the best model I could have asked for. BUT, Declan wasn't the only model I got to photograph that day.

Meet Carl, the second boy to make this such a fun session. Carl is the sweetest and friendliest pup I ever did meet. He and I have been good friends for a long time so let's just say he didn't love his brother getting all the attention. He needed his time in the spotlight too. I made sure he had his own St. Patrick's Day bandanna and bow tie and plenty of time in front of the camera. And man was he the goodest boy ever! Sure, we had to use some treats to bribe him occasionally. But if he needed even the tiniest bit of motivation to sit for these shots, then I'd do it over and over again because the results were wonderful.

This session filled my heart with so much joy. It truly made me realize why I chose the career I did. Being behind the camera makes me feel alive and excited. What's even stronger, though, is the joy I get from seeing happy clients. I will forever be grateful for this wonderful family for making the beginning of my photography career so encouraging and promising. I truly am so lucky to have this job.