Posted by Mindy Shamp on
“It’s Friday night and I feel alright. The party’s here on the west side.”
Hold on. We ain’t no Montell Jordan. I promise we do have better grammar than what’s represented in the previous sentence. Really, it’s Tuesday afternoon, and as far as I’m concerned the party’s here on the east side. I’m partying because there’s a new episode of New Girl on tonight, if anyone wants to know. Onto more important things, I decided to post a “this is how we do it” quick intro post. I don’t know how many of these we’ll do, but this one’s just to give you a quick look into how we do things during a photo session. Ready y’all…”All hands are in the air And wave em from here to there.” Okay, I’ll stop with the Montell for real!
One of the things we’ve learned about photographing children is this: Your children like you more than they like us (I know, that’s a duh statment, right?). So, they act completely different when you aren’t around, or when you’re paying no attention to them. When we have a moment alone with your kiddo, they give us their undivided attention. With a big fancy camera (which they know will show them a photo of themselves right on the back) to focus on and no mom or dad to distract them or direct them to give their cheesiest smile, they’re very curious about what we’re doing there!
This is my nephew, Levi. At two, he’s naturally curious about my camera. I don’t see him often enough for him to be bored with it, even though it’s in his face quite a bit when I do see him! We were at a baby shower in a hotel event space, and he was ready to get out of the room and explore. I brought him out into the lobby, where it was just little Levi and me. No distractions. His mama knew I was with him and just let us be (thanks, sis!). Also, excuse my silly placing of our watermark. I couldn’t resist! With his full attention, I grabbed a few curious shots with no trouble whatsoever. New favorite Levi photo right here, for sure. And it took a whopping 30 seconds to get it. Win!!
As we’d been at the shower for a couple of hours already, even the older kiddos were getting bored. Alex saw us in the lobby and decided to sneak out for some camera attention. When he saw that I was photographing Levi, he made it known that he wanted a photo, too. Not by asking, but by jumping into my shots and getting crazy silly. Totally normal for a kiddo. So, I asked him for some help.
He stood next to me so Levi would look at my camera (because of course, now Alex and his silliness were way more entertaining than me!), and I thanked him repeatedly for his help. Then I told him I’d like to take his photo. Since he was getting Levi’s attention by making silly faces, that’s what he wanted me to photograph. So I did.
Now I’m all for silly faces and giggles (those are some of my favorite shots ever), and they’re usually very easy to get out of kiddos. But, here’s what I wanted. Every child I photograph, I try for a shot like the one of Levi I posted above. I want one good portrait of them, that really shows who they are. I know not all of you know Levi, but that look he has in the first photo…of pure curiosity and happiness, that’s him. So, I challenged myself to get at least one photo of Alex like this. Even though I don’t know him as well as I know little Levi, I think I got it. And again, it took a whopping 30 seconds.
I love it so much that I can’t choose color or black and white as a favorite. And let me tell you, this kiddo was silly to the max. He wanted to chase Levi around the lobby, jump up and down in front of my camera every time I brought it to my face, show me his tongue and crazy eyes…all of that. All it took was me suggesting we compare his crazy-silly photo to what he normally looks like. I didn’t ask him to say “grilled cheese” or smile big for me. Just to look into my lens. That’s it. And boom - precious.
“Straight up comin’ from the east side, this is how we do it.” Happy Tuesday, y’all.