Child Portraits | Lydia

A Lifestyle Child Portrait Session in Orangevale CA

She danced like a hippie with the spirit of life. 

She flew with the winds of possibility like a fairy. 

She stamped her feet in passion and with presence like a flamenco girl. 

She twirled to the music in her heart like a butterfly. 

She sung the song of those who loved the earth. 

She was a rock. 

She felt her stars within. 

She was a drop in the vast ocean of the universe and in that she knew her brilliance. 

She found her freedom. 

~ S.C Lourie, Butterflies and Pebbles

Girl running in a golden field at sunset

I had an Open Child Model Call this past spring for Free Spirited and Nature Loving Child Photo Sessions. Lydia's mom answered that call, describing her middle child as fiercely independent and strong willed. We met at a park in Orangevale that had a playground and open meadow, full of wildflowers. Lydia seemed very shy when I first saw her, but after a few minutes, I saw the free spirit that Lydia really was. 

I had my set of props for her to play with. My plan was to show them to her one at a time. She had other ideas though. 

The first plaything that caught Lydia's eye was the pinwheel. The reflections on her face changed as the wind made the toy spin. It brought me back to when I was a child and my mom would buy one for me at the grocery store. I would twirl around when the wind wasn't blowing hard enough and make myself dizzy. They are such perfect toys for windy days!  

Little girl standing in front of a barn admiring a pinwheel during a windy day
Little girl wearing a blue dress and playing a pinwheel during a windy day

Next, she played with bubbles, which was a challenge because of the wind. They floated away much quicker than she could catch them, even when her mom blew them for her. After a few minutes, the call of the playground grew too strong, and she skipped off. 

Girl playing with bubbles on a windy day, wearing a blue dress

I followed her, knowing that this is what she had been waiting for. It didn't matter that she was wearing a twirly dress and that her shoes were not made for climbing the wrong end of the slide. The playground was calling to her, and there was no way she was going to resist. 

High view of a girl climbing the monkey bars 

Thank you Larissa for answering my model call for free spirited children! I had a great time with Lydia at our child photo session. She kept me on my toes, and I wouldn't have had it any other way! 

If you have a free spirited child who you think would be a great model for my Free Spirited Child Series, sign up for my monthly newsletter below! You may also send me a message at

Claire Toney is a Lifestyle photographer located in Rancho Cordova CA. She loves photographing children of all ages during unposed sessions, like the documentary sessions that she offers. To book her for a session, send  her an email at or you may call her at (916) 769-5482