Sharon Johnson does it again here on Let the Kids. I cannot believe this has been sitting in my inbox for as long as it has. Its like I found a treasure when I was looking through my inbox wondering what to post today. And even though I am so happy you are here reading my blog today, I am going to send you off to Sharon's blog for a real treat. She always has a wonderful post to share and her blog is so fresh and clean. Go and see.
I love the color on these. Now I want a yellow wall! This blog is going to have me painting a wall of each color of the rainbow in my house. That will go over great with the kids, not too sure about the husband. Anyways.. on to Sharon's excellent advice:
Photographing children is the dead last thing I EVER thought I would be wanting to do. Up until 18 months ago I didn't know how to act around kids, they were awkward to me and, I'm sure, I to them. I went about trying to speak to kids like adults and had a far easier time acting silly around my best girlfriends than I did children. Not only did I not understand children I had NO idea how to go about photographing them. I'd see other peoples work with children and just think, “No way, I can't get them to sit, I can't get them to look at me, laugh or pose for me. No way will I ever want to shoot children.” Weddings it was, forever and always. Then along came my first child and she changed me, like most first children do. I instantly gained an understanding of not only how to play and be silly with kids but also, how I wanted to take photos of them and capture that, what seems like an instant, moment in their lives. I want to capture real life, children crying, laughing, covering themselves in bananas, playing in dirt, playing hide and seek, making silly faces, all of it. That is what being a kid is about and I personally wouldn't want to remember my child any other way.
These photos are from my
first session coming off of maternity leave and my first session with a toddler. I was lucky enough to have it be with the adorable Miss. Brielle. Wow is was she a hoot and boy did she make me work for it. I left this session feeling uplifted and exhausted and with a very specific list of “to do's”. I have yet to deviate from this list and I have yet to fail or get frustrated when photographing children. This is that short and straightforward list:
1- Shoot on their turf. If this isn't possible, make them feel like it is their turf. They want to be in control, let them.
2- Kick the parents out and away as quickly as possible.
3- Be the play date, not the adult. Play and be silly, if you need to put down the camera for awhile do it.
5- My two “posing techniques” for when I am looking for that big grin = Bring a toy camera, take turns taking photos of one another. Play Simon Says.
6- Tell them often how cool they are, how beautiful they are, how funny, silly, crazy, and outrageous they are, and MEAN IT. They can tell.
Lastly and most importantly,
7- Be flexible, and just go with whatever presents itself. If all else fails: take a breathe and think of the way you would want this moment photographed if it was your child, and photograph with love.