Thursday, August 30, 2012

Photographing Children - Create Opportunities

I will be the first to admit that I take a lot of photos of my children.  I feel like they change so quickly and I do everything that I can to capture them as they grow.  It is also just a great excuse to practice my photography skills which I am always trying to improve on.  I would say that for the most part, my kids are really good sports about having their photos taken.  Of course I get the occassional "no, I don't want my picture taken" but I am surprised at how often they will go along with my requests.  I really try to make it fun for them....and for me.  If I am stressed out and worried about capturing the perfect photo, nobody will have fun. 
One of the ways that I capture these fleeting stages is by creating opportunities to take their photos.  I do not need an excuse to take their photo but I will find ways of engaging them in the session.  In many instances that is by using an item or something that they are excited about.  My girls will jump at the chance to have some photographs taken in a new outfit that they had just picked out.  My son loves to have his photo taken with his remote control car, his bunny or an action figure. 
A few years I had seen some images of a little girl dressed in her mother's wedding dress.  I wish I could give credit to where I saw this but I don't remember.  At any rate, I have thought about doing this for awhile.  I suggested this to my daughters.  My oldest said "no way" and that was it.  My younger daughter was ALL into it.  She had so much fun dressing up in my gown and I have to say that seeing her in my wedding dress was extra special.  I am in love with these photos and cannot wait to scrap them. 

It was such a fun shoot and I treasure these photographs.  We had one little issue when Wiley decided to walk across the train and slobbered as he went but it was all good.   I think people will often stay away from doing little photo shoots with their children because they automatically think it is going to be stressful. My advice is to try and find ways of engaging your child in the shoot.  What are they going to be excited to share through a photograph?  If it is a new toy, new outfit, or something that makes them feel magical....take it and run with it.  You will be happy that you did!

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