Deirdre Mulhern Photography

Main Line & Philadelphia Area Photographer

Main Line Family Photo Session in Haverford

Deirdre Mulhern: Main Line Family & Maternity Photographer

Picture this: a serene mid-spring evening, where the air is crisp, and the sun’s gentle rays filter through the trees, painting the world in that coveted golden-hour glow. That’s the scene that greeted us as I met up with this sweet little family of three (and soon to be four!) at an arboretum for this Main Line family photo session in Haverford, PA.

Our plans hit a snag initially, with the original session scheduled for the evening prior. However, a last-minute weather forecast shift prompted me to become an impromptu amateur meteorologist, keeping a vigilant eye on the forecast updates. When ominous rainclouds threatened our plans, we made the prudent decision to postpone, a choice that proved fortuitous when the rain arrived right on cue. And boy, did we hit the jackpot with the light on our rescheduled day!

Toddler runs to parents seated on blanket at Haverford arboretum for family photo session on Main Line

For this session, we chose a few different spots within the arboretum for this Main Line family photo session. This particular local spot is one of my absolute favorites for the amount of variety it offers. An open field provided the perfect backdrop for playful, candid shots. When working with little ones, it’s always fun to play some games and make the session more of a playdate than a chore. This almost three-year-old was totally game to sneak up behind mom and dad and surprise them with animal sounds. And what’s a photo session without a round of the blanket game? What little kid doesn’t want to run through a blanket tunnel?!

Candid photo of toddler running under blanket while father and mother hold white blanket

Amidst the playfulness, I stole a few moments to capture the expectant mom. In her third trimester, she positively glowed with an undeniable warmth, a beautiful testament to the journey of motherhood awaiting her. I fully believe that maternity photos serve as a precious gift to the baby, offering them a glimpse into the boundless love and adoration that enveloped them even before they entered the world.

Pregnant woman holds her stomach as she looks away from the camera at Haverford arboretum posing for family photo session.

Our journey continued with a stroll to the arboretum’s academic buildings, where a majestic brick path and ornate stone wall provided a stunning backdrop. This was a great opportunity to grab some walking shots of the family altogether. We only did this walk twice, but each time this family nailed it. This little guy did an amazing job following the lead of mom and dad while still letting his personality shine through.

As a Main Line family photographer, it’s important to know when to move on from posed shots and focus on capturing those candid memories. We moved to another part of the arboretum where I was able to get some of my favorite photos of the session. I just love how this toddler is looking up with adoration and wonder at his mom as she blows on the dandelion. There’s something so whimsical about those fluffy little seeds, dancing on the breeze. It was here that we captured more hugs before we ended the evening as the sun was beginning to set and this family needed to get some dinner and head on home. 

Mother blows dandelion as toddler looks on in awe at Main Line area arboretum

Anyone who has experienced the journey from one child to two, can tell you the transition can evoke a complex mix of emotions—undeniably bittersweet, yet brimming with anticipation. As the final month leading up to the arrival of the second child unfolds, every moment with the firstborn becomes imbued with a profound sense of significance. It’s a time of cherishing every giggle, every cuddle, every milestone, knowing that soon their world will expand to welcome a new sibling. And then, in a whirlwind of emotions, the new little one makes their grand entrance, and suddenly, it feels as though they were always meant to be part of the family.

As you return home from the hospital, cradling your newborn in your arms, you’re struck by the sheer size of your firstborn, who now seems towering in comparison. It’s a moment of reflection, of marveling at how swiftly time has passed, and how your heart has expanded to accommodate this newfound love. In that tender moment, amidst the chaos and the exhaustion, you realize with startling clarity that babies truly don’t keep—they grow, they change, and they remind us to cherish every fleeting moment. Hold onto these moments. They slip by so quickly and are over before you know it.

Seated mother hugs her toddler son on stonewall at Haverford arboretum.

If you are considering a laid back session like this with a mix of candid and posed photos, fill out my inquiry form here, and we can discuss locations close by that would make a great backdrop for your Main Line family photo session and any way I can help you capture this special time for your family! To see more from this Main Line family photo session, click here!

Parents lift toddler as they walk down brick path

April 28, 2024

Deirdre Mulhern