Category Archives: Having Fun at a Photo Session

My Photographic Roots (part 2)

As I was looking for a few photos to post  in the 2nd edition of My Photographic Roots I realized just how many great places there are in this beautiful country of ours. I think we are all tired at this point of our snarky politicians fighting on a daily basis so try this. Walk away from your TV and look outside. For those in the MidWest or East Coast it must be beautiful with all the snow falling and turning things into a winter wonderland. I know I know it will become messy but right now this moment it is beautiful, if you are lucky  you may even see a Cardinal sitting in the tree in your front yard. For those on the west coast we have high tides and warm weather as does Florida. Seagulls are flying over head and the sea lions are high on the rocks basking in the sunshine.   What does this have to do with my photographic roots you may ask? Well, plenty! When I decided Photography  was an avenue I wanted to pursue I borrowed a camera and learned how to use it. I learned how to choose exposures and while I always had a knack for composition I worked at improving it. I used that borrowed camera for my first field trip with an instructor to Canyon De Chelly which is in the northeast corner of Arizona. More about that in a future post.

Right now I want to talk about the beauty in our own back yards or neighborhood. I practiced in literally  my own backyard (Plumeria), in front of the library (Ca. Poppy), the local nursery (heart stake w/flowers) I went to the beach, the zoo and anywhere I could work on my skills.

Looking at family and pet photos I have taken you can probably see the influence from my nature photography days. I always tell my new clients that when I decided to shift my work to families and pets I knew I wanted to combine my love of nature with my love of families and pets. Any time and anywhere I aim my camera it always takes me back to my photographic roots!

If you have an interest in photography this is a great place to start. Just open your front door and start shooting!

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Also posted in family photographs at the beach, Family Photography, Kids, Learning Photography, News, Pet Photography, photographing your neighborhood Tagged , , , , |

Let Kids be Kids!

I work with children all the time with or without their parents in the photos.  I’ve found that parents, as they head out for their session tell their kids to be good and smile and  do what the photographer tells you to do. For many kids that puts too much pressure on them to “perform”. My theory is to make it fun, who wants to sit still and smile! With small children I am able to get the most amazing shots while they are just being themselves. No expectations other than fun fun fun.

Parents are encouraged to bring along some props. Maybe a favorite doll or book. Sometimes we play with bubbles. A favorite dump truck for a little guy at the beach makes for great pics.  I like to play with the kids and if they are really shy I encourage them to come over and check out my camera. It’s funny but sometimes that can be the ice breaker we need. When I’m photographing kids I make a total idiot of myself. I make funny noises, I sing songs (I’m really bad but they don’t care), I make fish faces, I play peek-a-boo behind the camera.  After all that playing and getting awesome shots of them they will usually cooperate and settle down allowing me to get beautiful photographs of the family.

The most important thing for parents to remember is to relax. It’s all going to turn out great. You just have to trust me. Because when it’s the parents turn to join in a tense irritated face is not going to work so just go with it and have fun fun fun. Kids are the ones that have life the right way around, it’s us adults that ruin it. Let them be kids, let them have fun. I will be ready to capture it when it happens.

Now teenagers is a another thing! Often they think this family portrait thing is “lame”! They too have probably been told to shape up and smile, darn it!

I like to find out what they are interested in and work from that angle. By talking to them and letting them know I am interested in them as people really helps a lot. I will play along take a shot of them dancing on the sand or jumping off the cliff (make that a short short cliff) whatever floats their boat and in that way I gain their trust. Trust is what it is all about with a tween or teen. Sometimes I have to ignore them and work with another family member until they do something that gets me to turn my camera on them and then they are mine as we have made that connection. Sometimes I will have a stubborn one help me out by holding a reflector for me.They usually get interested in what I am doing and then I have them! I never ever want to force someone to pose because it will fail every time. So let’s get out there, have fun and make some magic!

I know some of these photos look posed but I assure you that all of these children featured here were just doing their thing when I took the shot! Their parents were thrilled and so was I. 
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Also posted in Family Photograhs, family photographs at the beach, family photographs Leo Carrrilo Ranch, Family Photography, Kids, kids of all ages, Let Kids be Kids, News