There is something so special about family photos. Capturing a season in a family's life, for them to look back on and cherish, is why I love what I do. These little moments with Amelia are so precious, she's growing and learning everyday. As the days breeze by in a hectic blur of parenthood, they will always have this moment too look back on. Little Amelia running and dancing through the grass on a warm July day with the sun setting behind her without a worry in the world. I think it's beautiful.
The first thing that came to my mind when I saw this image was 'that looks like a dream'. The second thing that came to my mind was 'I sure hope they print this one'. haha
Working with young children during a photo session can be a little intimidating. Some kids just aren't feeling it, they get fussy and understandably so. When I'm working with kids I use every tip and trick I have. Here are some of my favorites.
The first tip is to understand that you're not in control of the session. Sure, you might direct the session, but the real boss is the youngest of the group. If they want to run and play, guess what? You're an action photographer now. They want to be held? Great, you can do some sweet portraits of everyone. Whatever keeps them happy is what you do.
Number 2, music. I have left almost every family session with "Baby Shark" stuck in my head. I have a "kids music" Spotify playlist for sessions now. Spotify premium... I can't have an ad pop up and ruin the vibe.
I don't know how you feel about screen time, but my favorite tip does involve a phone. I'll find a show they like and have an assistant (my mom who works for free) hold the phone under my lens. This works best when I'm doing closer portraits; but I think I'll bring my iPad to my next family session so I can shoot from farther away and still keep the baby's attention. Another tip with the phone (could also be a toy or even food) is have them walk toward you to get it. In the photo above I was laying on the ground, and I had my assistant (mom...) ask her is she wanted to play with my phone, she immediately smiled and hurried over to get it. We did this 2 or 3 times before she caught on, which gave me plenty of great shots with that dreamy lighting. My last "phone tip" would be to have everyone curl up with a good storybook and put the phone, with their favorite show playing, inside the book. This works especially well when they are getting a little tired of the session. Miss Amelia was enjoying a movie in the photo below. Thank you Netflix.
Overall, family photos are one of the most rewarding things I do. It blesses me so much to be able to give these moments to them. I love that Jessalynn and Kaleb can look back on this season as Amelia grows into a young lady and Amelia can look back at them one day too. Maybe one of these photos will be on their wall in their home, maybe one will be framed at Amelia's wedding, maybe one day Amelia will show one of these photos to her own little girl and say "you look just like your grandmother". Family photos are a keepsake, a legacy. And I just can't get over how blessed I am to be a part of it. I love my job.
If you've not taken family photos recently, send me a note (firstname.lastname@example.org). I'd love to work with you.