Let’s Laugh! — Interview with Le Coco

Elise from Le Coco Photography talks with us today about shooting families:

“The Todds are one of those families that you meet and instantly wish you were a part of. The have this connection, a love that is beyond most families. Beyond words. After this session I went to bed still on a high, I wished it had lasted a few more hours, two just wasn’t enough. I was having SO much fun and these kiddies were just wonderful. Sure there were the usual tantrums, tears and frowns, but for the most part this session was filled with cheeky smiles, cosy hugs, and lots of laughter, a few games of bocce, and singing along to the guitar which, while singing Greenday’s ‘Time of your Life’, had me covered in goosebumps and feeling so overwhelmed with love for the beautiful people in front of me.”

My little tip: I kicked off the session by taking the 3 kids away from their mum and dad for a few fun portraits, these are the ‘warm ups’… it helps them relax and they (and I) can be candid without mum and dad watching them.

How long have you been shooting?
10 years this year since I started in the dark room. In high school. You know how you hear stories of people owning a camera when they are 10 years old and loving photography, then life takes them on another path but they eventually come back to photography? Well that’s not me… I have the camera (instant film camera) when I was 10, and I never stopped. I announced then that I wanted to be a photographer and every decision in my life has been around that fire I have inside to be a photographer, to succeed. I had no idea that I would be doing otherwise. I had someone comment recently, “I remember when you were a kid and were into photography, I love that you stick with your passion.” So do I!

How long have you been shooting professionally?Family portraits for around 4 years now, Weddings for 5 years.

Why do you shoot? What drives you? What inspires you?
People inspire me, their stories inspire me, Everyone has a story to tell and in their own way it is beautiful. I love love, I love people in love, parents loving their children, even a dogs love for it’s owner. Isn’t is just amazing? That’s what inspires me and drives me to so what I do. I have their ability to see beauty in the small things in life, the silver lining in sad times and appreciate the world around me. i think that’s where my inspiration stems from.

Do you shoot film of digital?
Digital now, for the past 7 years, with the exception of my beloved Polaroid Mini. I started out playing with lots of different actions, trying to see what I like. Then a few years ago I created my own that work for me. This has helped me immensely in reducing the time in post processing. I think they key is consistency in the processing for your work, it helps define your style.

Which camera/lens are you favorites and why?
I shoot Nikon with a 24-70mm 2.8 on 90% most of the time-its just a fantastic all around lens for wide-portrai. Secong favorite would be my 50mm 1.4, because I love shooting wide open.

Any tips for shooting Children?
How much time to you have? haha. My number one would be patience, lots of patience. I don’t have children but I have found patience my best friend when dealing with them, getting frustrated with an uncooperative child will be the end of that shoot (creatively) . Another tip I often share, instead of asking a child to ‘Smile’ I say, “show me you teeth” usually get a funny face and then a laugh, two fabulous shots. At the moment I am loving jumping on the bed shots, its great with 2-4 year olds, gives them something to do (that the love) and makes for some fun shots.

Favorite light to shoot in?
That delicious light right before the sun goes down. Or, the soft light light pouring in through a window.

Favorite place to shoot and why?
I don’t really have one favorite place, it’s about the people, I can work magic on at any location provided the client is happy. Though clients homes are always great, so much of them to capture, the scattered toys, shoes lined up at the door, childrens bedrooms or a babys nursery. Their world is in their home and to be invited into that world is an honor.

Where do you look for creative inspiration?
I look within, I have a million thoughts rushing though my head. Shoot ideas some good some not so good. 🙂 Otheriwise, I wait until the start of the shoot, being inspired creatively by the clients, by the children’s personality. Failing that I turn to Pinterest haha.

Best piece of advice you could give to a new photographer?
My advice to all photographers starting out would be to first know your camera. Read the manual, read up online, know your light, and understand your settings. When you are secure in your technical skills, you can relax and focus on connecting with your subjects.

Thank you so much, Elise for stopping by Let the Kids and answering all of our questions!

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