I have a few family sessions from last season that I'm dying to share here on the blog. First up is this darling Fall session I got to do with the Weitkamps at Treworgy Family Orchards in Levant, Maine. My first session with the Weitkamps was a year prior to this one almost to the week! I love when I get to do an annual shoot with a family. To witness the joy and growth of a group of people is why I love my job in the first place. Little Henry has grown up so much and was walking on his own this time! Now the trio is getting ready for a new baby! Congratulations you three! Here are a few of my favorites from our session. Henry with those goats! Insert heart eye emoji there ;).
This blog has watched the Driscoll family from it's very start! From Amy and Roscoe's engagement pictures, to their wedding, to now THIS gorgeous wonder. This beautiful boy is named Jackson Timothy Driscoll. This past fall I came for my very first visit with this love monster and of course- brought my camera. It's best that these love muffins get used to me being around with the camera from an early age, because I'mma be there for it ALL Mr. J! Amy of course made his nursery perfect! He lives in the sweetest farm themed room with lots of barn animals. He is one lucky duck! Here are just a few pics that I snapped of him at our first meeting. Love you Mr. Jackson! I am for REAAALLL ;) Get it? Outcast reference??? NO? You're like a baby so you get a pass.
I love the chance to do a maternity session! When the mama-to-be brings her family along it makes it all that much more special. Throw in the season of Christmas and some holiday cheer and I'm one happy photographer.Read More
From all the family photo shoots I've done and all the chances I've had to photograph my own nieces and nephews I've developed some techniques I'd like to share on how to get natural smiles out of the children in your life. The smile I get out of my nephew, Julian when I simply say, "SMILE!" or "SAY CHEESE!" is much different then the smile I get from him when he is actually happy and enjoying himself. Here is an example,
his smile when I say, "SMILE!"
his smile when he's actually happy.
Of course I love both of his smiles. ALL of his smiles actually. Even the ones that look more like frowns or make him look like he's confused. But the smile I remember when we are together having fun, or when he's giggling at himself, or when he's experiencing something new he enjoys for the first time, well- that's the second smile. The one where his eyes are open.
SO TIPS! Here are a few ways I get that natural smile out of kids when we are taking pictures.
1. Avoid saying 'smile!' or 'Say cheese!'
For the reason and example above. Asking a child to smile on command will elicit the first smile and while we love it, it's not the natural one.
2. Plan an activity.
I know the children in my life are much happier when they are doing something they enjoy instead of having to stand still and smile. Photographers call these sessions where a family is in it's natural element doing something, lifestyle sessions. Pick an activity where they will enjoy themselves, not get too messy (or let them get REALLY messy- I love how THIS Modern Family shoot turned out), and takes a good length of time. This way kids won't even notice the fact that they are participating in a photo session. Some activities I like to take pictures of children during are:
-Blueberry picking, apple picking, pumpking picking ANY Of the 'pickings'
-While coloring/doing arts and crafts.
-During a beach/lake day.
-Hiking/ Going for a walk.
3. Get down to their level.
If you are standing above a child with your camera looking down at it, the picture you take probably won't show the size of their smile to be as big as it is. If they are looking up at you their mouth will appear thinner. If you kneel down on the floor with them you'll get the full size of their smile. You will also be down at their view point, seeing the world at the angle they see it, which I think adds another element.
4. Go with the flow and keep that camera in hand!
Sitting still, focusing all your attention to one thing, and smiling on cue sounds like the exact OPPOSITE of what children want to do. Often I see parents struggling to get their kids to do those things only to get frustrated and then ruin any chance of getting a good natural photo at all. If you just let the kids be in their natural element the photo worthy moments will just happen on their own. BUT you have to be ready for them so don't let that camera go far.
5. Catch them off guard.
Sometimes you just have to straight up trick them. To do this I set them up with an activity (tip #2) and let them go at it. When I notice that they are smiling and in a good mood I'll put my camera up to my eye, focus, and then call their attention. They will look over at me, still so happy, and I'll snap away.
I hope these help make the photo taking process in your family a little easier!
A long long time ago (roughly 3 years) I was pondering what I was going to do with my life and dreaming big dreams. The big don't- you-dare-how-could-that-ever-happen kind of dreams. I bought my first DSLR camera and would take pictures of deeply moving and thought provoking things like my cat. Eventually I made my boyfriend at the time pose and then forced my friends to stand in front of my camera. I'd share some things online and then one day I was contacted by a friend from college. She was getting married STAT and needed a photographer. Her wedding to Rob was the first wedding I ever photographed and now she has a BABY and I'm still photographing weddings. I love how her and I's stories wove together and that I get to pop into hers every now and then for a photo update. This time around, a couple of weeks ago, I got to meet the rest of her clan in a family photo session, including baby Adrielle! She is SO sweet and funny and at such a young age already has quite the personality. Thank you KC and family for keeping me around. Its such a joy to watch your family grow!