I met up with Katie, Eli and Ava a couple of weeks ago on a beautifully warm, almost summer morning. We had scheduled, and rescheduled…and RE scheduled last fall/ winter as every date we had picked was WAY too cold or wet for these littles! We won’t mention the fact that the Tuesday before this late May session was to take place, we had a fairly significant snowfall. (insert heavy sigh….lol)
The great news is, things happen for a reason and we were so fortunate to have the most glorious morning to work together!!
When I start a session with anyone, younger or older, it 100% takes a minute for BOTH parties to warm up to each other and allow themselves to relax and sink into the experience. I typically will get to know the kids a little better and let them get to know me! I want them to know that their time spent with me will be fun and hopefully make “getting your picture taken” an enjoyable experience versus torture lol.
Even though I will typically not have my cameras to my eye right at first, there does come the moment when it needs to make it’s big reveal. Although Ava was not unhappy in the photo above (hense why I chose to leave it in the gallery because it’s adorable AND part of the story of the session) it is a common reaction at first! Kids have usually been coached as to what to do when someone is taking your picture, but truly, once they are allowed to just be themselves, we start to see the genuine grins of delight or moments of curiosity peek through!
Let them show you who they are!
I have been most successful when I have zero expectations during a session.
Along with not imposing expectations (I’m a go with the flow type of photographer, especially with young children), I try to work with each child, on their own, away from the group. They see that I am here to have fun with them and still make mom happy! Once we get away from the group to explore a bit on their own, they start to loosen up!
Many times as parents, and I was TOTALLY guilty of this too, we want smile plus happy and natural expressions from our kids when getting pictures taken. If I could do anything, my biggest message would be to reinforce that the in between moments, the serious or inquisitive expressions, the random locations as well as the fits of excited laughter at new discoveries will yield a WAY more natural photo of your princes and princesses! I understand that some people’s taste in a portrait is a standard pose, a smile and a traditional crop…and THAT IS OK!!! I am speaking from my own personal perspective and way that I, as a creator, work!
Hopefully you see where this is all going! Getting out, taking the kids to areas that are where you want to shoot, and then make games out of literally everything, can work in your favor!
*click on the photos below for a bigger and better view!
Depending on where we are having our session, if there is a “pay off” area, leave that out of sight or at least in the distance, until towards the end! At our location, there were two payoffs lol. Water, and a playground!! Mom was super relaxed, and trusting of my process and let her kids be themselves!! It was awesome!!
This was one of a series of 5 images of various stages of Eli’s sheer delight at what was happening!
My favorite pictures of my kids were when they were more involved in themselves, than they were in me. I was along for the ride! I’m all down for a great smiling at the camera shot, don’t get me wrong, but I think the biggest complaint I hear from people regarding photo sessions, is that past pictures have showcased cheesy forced smiles and stiff poses. If you can change your mindset on what might make the best memory, versus the most perfect scenario (which lets face it, how many kids are really like that lol) you may be significantly delighted with the outcome!
Thank you for checking in this week!!
Until next week…