My idea of a perfect toddler portrait session is one that captures the many different facets of a toddler. With this little guy though, it was both a ton of fun and a challenge - because there were SO many facets to him - so many expressions and special little things he did! Every time I thought we were done, he whipped out a new irresistible trick! There was the goofing around with mom and dad....
Checking out the fascinating rocks, with that adorable little squat that is a toddler trademark...
The silly faces...
And the dancing!
SUCH a fun session - though I admit, I was ready for a nap afterwards!
The outfits, the location, the style coordination - all AWESOME in this shoot - and I can't take credit for any of it, it was all the mom's doing! I was giddy with joy to do this one, not just because it's edgy and different and fun, and there are lots of colors and textures and cool compositional elements to shoot - but because it's so THEM. Back to my "style" post - I guess that's what my style is when it comes to family photography. It's not traditional, edgy, romantic and dreamy, funky and original, dramatic, playful or soulful. It's all of these and non of these. My style - my goal - is to reflect the personality, the feelings and the values of the specific family. If I can be perceptive enough to read that personality, understand their feelings and reflect that in my images, then I feel like I've succeeded.
So - a BIG high-five to the mom for styling this unique, fabulous, fun session. I hope I did justice to the terrific vision!
I've been thinking a lot about what a photographer's "style" really means. There is, of course, personality - I think the way I relate to my clients is a big part of what makes my work really mine. But ultimately, I feel that a photographer's style comes down to what he or she finds most important. What we value may not be as obvious as it seems: some photographers find color and form to be most important in an image, others value originality and doing something different, still others look most for the way that light evokes mood and impact. Some of us go for playful, others try to evoke an intimate feel, and still others find it important to show a full range of emotion and expressions in a session. These are the things that make up a STYLE.
In maternity sessions, I think I have a very clear style. I absolutely find the pregnant form to be beautiful for its curve, lines, softness, and I enjoy playing with light - and of course, the anticipation of pregnancy is exquisite - but for me, the key to a great maternity session is to capture THE NOW. There is a great deal for the mom-to-be to look forward to, a lot of preparations to make, a lot of dreaming and forward-looking - but most of all, there is the beauty of NOW. The little fluttering baby kicks. The full hair, the curvy form, the disarming mix of innocence and sexiness (cuz, hey, you can't see the sciatica and the heartburn in the images ;-). There is so much in the future, but there is so much RIGHT NOW too; you are still YOU, and if you have an older child, that child is still every bit as important, and your relationship as a family RIGHT NOW is no less important for the fact that there is another little member who will join you shortly. So, my goal and my style in maternity sessions is to bring out the beauty in what is NOW.
So, after all my thinking-out-loud, here is what I mean. I had such a lovely time working with this family. The mom-to-be (who is a mom already!) personifies the quintessential beauty and glow of pregnancy, but it's clear that she is very much in the moment too, in her love for her family and how important the soon-to-be-big-brother is to her. I am so excited to get the new addition in front of my camera and capture the beauty of this expanding family!
Well....I guess this is why people make fun of New Year's resolutions: you start out with the best of intentions, and then invariably, life gets in the way. I REEEEALLY intended to do the blog-every-day thing - it just didn't happen. Instead of giving up though, I am just going to try to blog whenever I can. No more unrealistic goals :-) So, here is a catch-up post - just some of the work I've been doing. I love variety - it's great for stretching those creative muscles - so I feel lucky to have had so many different types of sessions in the last few weeks. Some adorable kids....
Yummy newborn twins, who had the funniest expressions...
And an absolutely STUNNING knockout gorgeous maternity - I can't wait to meet her little baby for his/her newborn session!
Much more to come as I post some more recent sessions from this busy busy spring season!
Parents often ask me before sessions, "What if my children don't cooperate?" (or the more optimistic, "I really hope he/she cooperates!"). The truth is, "cooperation" really isn't necessary. I mean, the goal is to capture childhood, to preserve this special time in your family's life, right? And how often do young children (not to mention pre-teens and teenagers!) truly cooperate in real life? I find that it's best to just let them be, and do what comes naturally - and it pays off.
It seems that even really, really great-looking people sometimes hate to have their picture taken. They WANT the family portraits...they really do...BUT...well, I guess it's a phobia like any other. There really is something kind of exposed and vulnerable about letting someone capture an image of you; the image is FROZEN, it's THERE, it can't be denied, and to some of us it whispers "Come check me out! See if you can identify all your minute faults like it's a 'Where's Waldo' book!". I know that for many people, there is a lot of anxiety associated with getting in front of the camera- which makes me that much more appreciative of the trust that my clients place in me. And I feel luckiest at those magical moments where even the most anxious client lets go of the anxiety, forgets about the camera even for just a few seconds, and lets their true inner beauty come through in the form of a mischievous smile, soulful eyes, a pensive expression, or a loving glance at their child.
Thank you, L family, for suffering through the insufferable ;-). I got MANY of those magical moments from this session, and I hope you see that in these images!
I recently developed a bad habit: sharing my recent work on Facebook instead of on my blog. There is nothing inherently wrong with Facebook - I enjoy connecting with so many friends and sharing little bits of my work - but I realized how much I miss the intimacy of my blog, this chance to share my thoughts on my work in a dedicated space all my own. I LIKE writing about the images I create - largely because writing about the makes me THINK more about them, about what each one means, and what I love about the work I do.
I have read that it takes 30 days to build a new habit - so, in order to get back to the habit of blogging, I am committing to a new blog post for each of the next 30 days. Some may be longer than others, but I doubt I'll have a shortage of material, given how much catching up I have to do :-)
SOOOO....here is Day 1 of 30. I first "met" this beautiful new baby girl when she was in her mommy's belly back in December, and big sister was bouncing around full or anticipation and just plain old little-girl playfulness. Now, Baby A has made this crew a family of 4 (or 5, if you count Brady the Over-Protective Dog). If she turns out to be anything like her stunning, super-smart big sister, this duo will be a force to be reckoned with. In the meantime, it's clear that they are all enjoying Baby A's sweet cuddliness!