Last week I had the most amazing session with a beautiful family. The family is rather large, with four children, so naturally I was a little nervous and intimidated about this session. But right away I was put at ease when the youngest boy came right up to me and wanted to talk to me. Mom was tucking in shirts, fixing pant legs, brushing hair and just overall getting everyone ready like a good mommy. I used this opportunity to start to get to know the boys, introduce myself, ask them how they were feeling about the shoot, ask about school, and get them use to talking to me- a stranger with a camera. Lucky for me these children were really outgoing and very well behaved. I was able to create some images that had been floating around in my head for weeks- stacking the children almost on top of each other on a comfy blanket and shoot from above and I was really happy with the results.
We walked down to where we were gonna start shooting, did a bit of exploring to get some energy out. Once we do that, I know that when we start the session they would be focused on me and my instructions rather then that totally awesome thing thats behind me, because we have already been there seen that. Once we started the session we crawled into this area off the beaten path and found a spot for them to get cozy. I started with the boys and asked them who was the most ticklish and if any of them knew any good jokes. That began the theme of our session- a series of really bad jokes. I realized that I really need to bush up on my joke telling- and have them ready on mental file.
Believe me, it wasn’t ALL jokes, but it definitely helped cut the seriousness of the session. These are kids after all- My ultimate goal with a session involving children is Fun! If they aren’t into it, I wont be able capture the images that are important to me or Mom. We did lots of different types of group shots, involving different individuals, and I also was able to break the groups up and focus on each family member individually.
You could really tell how much love these kids shared, they genuinely enjoyed each other, when I asked them to put their arms around each other it never felt forced. Smiles were natural and I was also able to capture some meaningful expressions from them as well. I then singled out Mom and Dad and took some time to focus on them and created some images highlighting the love they share as well. And then brought the whole family into the shot to create an intimate family unit. They really were so much fun and I had a blast through the whole session! I hope to get to work with them again in the future.