Is There a Bad Age for Portraits?

I often get questions or comments from parents who would love to have their child’s portrait session but are afraid because “they are at that age…” the age of stranger-anxiety or clingyness, or just not being such a “good listener.”

I say forget all that.

This session started out with a warning from the mom “she’s a little clingy”  and these are the first few shots in my camera:

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Because I’m a mother of three teenage children, I feel like I’ve experienced every age and stage (except the college years and I’ll soon be doing that!)  and I don’t give up that easily!

Yes, it was pretty early to be up and out, and yes it was extremely windy and colder than expected.  But give it a little time, don’t push it – and let the children just be…children. With new places to explore – pretty flowers, fun stairs and trees to climb on and around, and a real caboose (!) soon took away stranger anxiety and portrait time became fun time with that lady who just is following us around with a camera…

Here are some of the shots from later in the session:

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Special Fun With the Seniors This Year

This year, high school senior sessions are just a little more special and emotional than they usually are. As always, I find them all good natured, mature and polite and I love their uniqueness and the ability to personalize their session.

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This year I have my own senior. What type of mom would I be if I didn’t take some pictures of my own son?

So, I convinced Jack to stop by after one of my sessions so I could get a few shots of him. Unfortunately we selected the day that he started coming down with a virus that kept him out of school for the next week.  But I’m still glad I got some shots!

But first I got some of these….

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But then a couple of these…Good for now

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Thanks to All The Mothers That Got IN THE Pictures with their kids!

This Mother’s Day – I’m going to offer these word of advice to all moms:

There’s a movement out there urging moms to get in photos with kids.  Here’s one article about it:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/allison-tate/mom-pictures-with-kids_b_1926073.html

I know, as mom and designated family photographer, the tendency to show off the family vacation photos and have people ask “But were you there?  Where are the pictures of you?”

I may have decided to be behind the camera because I don’t love being in front of it, but as I have photographed moms throughout the years who have actually gotten into the photos with their children, these photos will be valued by the whole family for years to come.

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I also know that kids that are hesitant or clingy in photoshoots, open up and and relax when a mom gets in the focal area and interacts in the photoshoot.  I also get to shoot what I love most – the “in-between” natural moments where it’s all about emotion and love and not just a posed shot.

So I URGE all you moms out there.  Next time you schedule a photo shoot, get in the picture! You’ll be happy in the long run and are giving your family a gift.
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I Love Portraits in the Snow!

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I found some willing victims last week for snow portraits…actually they found me. I even offered to reschedule because our session was scheduled for the coldest day of winter so far.  But some members had traveled from out of town so they had limited time to be together as a family.  And I’m happy that they used some of that precious family time for a portrait session.

Afternoon winter light is truly special, and when I saw the grove of tall trees in their front yard I knew the setting contrast against the snow and trees would be nice.  I also liked the bright colors worn by the family – and the fact that the are all truly photogenic didn’t hurt either!

It’s good to remember that just because a little wind blows and the temperature drops, don’t assume you need to be confined to dark living rooms for your pictures.

And then the boyfriend joined the shoot.
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I love that after I posed and directed these two, I just said “now just be.. hug her like you want to…” and this is what happened.
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End of the Year Musings…

It’s hard to imagine that another year has flown by.  Even my kids noticed and commented that the time is passing quickly; when I was a child, it seemed to take forever from one Christmas to the next one…maybe time is really speeding up?

The passing of a year is yet another reminder that the value of my work is capturing moments that are vanishing too fleetingly.  I am thankful that I have caught my family in pictures at various times throughout the year, although I wish I had taken even more.  I realized mid-December that we had not yet had a family photo taken.  As much as I love my candids, my lazy vacation mood shots, my artsy one-child-in-the-snow shots, I had not one shot of all of us together.

We did manage to have a relative take a quick one of us as we went to cut down our tree, but I wish I had planned more…I wish I made that effort that I have helped so many other families accomplish this year.

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Maybe I didn’t do it.  But I did enjoy helping others capture memories this year.  What I love about my photography business is that I get to help build and preserve memories for others.  And this year I helped create memories for parents of high school seniors, weddings, families, events and newborns.

And when I photograph a family, a special event or even a portrait, I love that I often get to meet a new people and have fun with their family dynamics. I share in their special moments, and I give them all an excuse to squeeze a little closer together, laugh a little and make a memory.

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Thanks to all of you who have brought me into your lives for that brief moment!

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And welcome to my youngest model….

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Happy Holidays to all and looking forward to a great (but hopefully not so fast) 2015