Friday, July 11, 2008

Garden Birthday Portraits!

Now that gardens up in New Hampshire are coming into their full summer glory, garden portraits season is in full bloom! My favorite annual garden portrait event is my daughter's birthday. Every year, she gets a special birthday dress, I hand her a flower and the fun ensues.

My daughter is quite comfortable getting her photo taken. Obviously, it helps to have a mom who is a professional photographer. Other kids are not as comfortable. You cannot expect someone to "perform" for the camera when having one's picture taken is a rare event. Instead, when you want to "create" a portrait, respect the child's feelings. Work in his comfort zone. Don't expect the child to sit still for long. Be prepared to follow him around. Bring a toy or object to capture his attention. Photograph him doing what he loves. This makes for a memorable image. Stop taking photos when the child wants to talk. Engage him in conversation. Become part of his world instead of forcing him to conform to your photography expectations.

My daughter is a ham. We have lots of photographs like this:

This is how we know her - as a fun loving kid. Perhaps she is preparing to be class clown one day? If so, than these will be the most valuable photos of the session. We'll remember that her free-spirit began when she was this young...and since I went with her flow, she even provided me with those smiling head on portraits that all parents want to see.

No comments: