One of the coolest things to do as a child and family portrait photographer is to “bring out the awesome” in each of my clients. I feel like my job is 70% psychology/human interaction and 30% technical expertise. I pride myself in being able to find that “spark” in even the most introverted people. Everyone has that certain something that really brings out the spark. It might be a hobby you are passionate about or a special pet or talking about a loved one. And when I click with someone and “IT” comes out, I know I’ve done my job as a portrait photographer. Usually it’s a subtle shift in a person’s outward expressions but it’s there and I notice it. On a recent trip to St Louis to shoot some family and child photography sessions, I encountered such a cool shift I had to share. I’ve been photographing Miss Merus since she was 2 years old. She is a sweet, quiet, thoughtful little soul and has always required a little coaxing to bring out that inner light in photographs. When she shines, she really shines (you can see her inner light in the Mothering Magazine cover). But here’s the really cool part. When she was 6, her mom was happily surprised and blessed with twin daughters. Little sisters for Merus. During our last session, I was photographing Merus alone and having a little trouble letting her light out. Until I asked her to help with her sisters. Oh it was so beautiful to see her transition. Anyone can see that her “spark” is being a big sister. And she is such a great one. Look at the transition in her photographs from the beginning of the session to the sister part.