I recently came to the realization that I'd been letting my shoots get away from me. It's easy enough to do when there are large families or kids who are a bit more rambunctious than others. Parents have busy schedules to keep to get kids to karate, dance or Grandma's. There are naps to schedule around and breaks for food and snacks. And tears. Sometimes there are lots of shrieking tears.
I'm often told I have a ton of patience by parents. I have to. But, I also have to keep a fresh and creative mind. So with that, it was important for me to start a series of children's images that were just for me. I told the parents not to say a word, just stand back and let me do my job. If food bribes must be involved I have to be in charge of them, that way the kids pay attention to me, the person with the food and the camera. Otherwise I'm not the one in control of the session.
I put out a casting call on my Facebook page looking for kids who listen ridiculously well. I made sure to say I needed kids of many moods. Sulky, smiley, serious... As long as they took my direction well, I wanted authentic looks from the kids, not big "cheese"y smiles. I got a good amount of responses and met with some of the families about shooting.
The first person to show up before my lens was Sophia, who I've shot twice now for her family. She can be a bit moody and contrary, but she photographs so well that I had to give her a shot. I planned her outfit with her mom, enlisted the assistance of the family pet, borrowed some suitcases from a vintage shop, picked up a dozen balloons and headed to my favorite park.
We shot for about 45 minutes and Sophia did surprisingly well at listening and following directions. I was in charge of her Graham crackers and the session. Post- processing was nice and easy since I already had a finished product in mind. Muted pastels and lots of textures. Some heavy grain, a fair amount of vignetting.
I'm in love with the beautiful vintage-style images my peers have been putting out, the whimsical imagery from sites like reverie.com and that I've been pulling from pinterest.
I chose the balloons to be a recurring theme in my recent sessions (and three remaining). I hate balloons. They scare me. I have no idea why, it's completely irrational but they do. I also fear clowns, but I think more people will be able to relate to that. Anyways, I chose balloons because they are pretty and fun (in theory). Children almost always like balloons though so they were a good choice. I wish I had had more time to find the bright, round balloons but time being what it was it wasn't going to happen.
The results made mom Melissa and I both giddy. I try to be humble and not gloat, but I genuinely love these images. Maybe, just maybe, Bossy's got her groove back.
These are some of my favorite shots, I'd love to hear your thoughts on them so leave a comment.
As always, thanks goes to the family for coming out and stepping in front of my lens. xxoo