Since Southern California is such a dry place, you can't just wander out into the woods and find lush, green surroundings. When a client wants something a little more lush and a little less arid, botanical gardens works really well. I recently discovered there's a "secret" botanical garden in Somis, which is mostly farmland an odd place for the botanical garden. But hey, that works for me!
Like many families with small chidrens, these two parents were apprehensive about the shoot. They were concerned their kids wouldn't behave and I wouldn't get any shots. But rather than trying to force a child to sit still and pose, I take more of a jujitsu approach to working with children. Rather than forcing them, I let kids be kids and gently guide them when necessary. Sometimes parents think the session didn't go well, only to be amazed when they see the images. It all comes down to quick reflexes and being able to multitask: working out technical details, composition and crowd control all at the same time.
I said to the boy "let's see how close I can get and still take a picture."
We couldn't stop him rolling around, and it was the end of the shoot so...why not go with it?