May 5, 2016

Number One Factor in Child Photography

The number one factor in child photography is the photographer, but not for the reason you think. It’s all about the connection between the person behind the camera and the person in front of it.

fairies

Nicole has been looking forward to having her picture taken as a fairy princess for weeks. I set up the appointment about a month ago when I saw the sign at JCPenney’s. Nicole loves dress up and loves photo time, and she really loves the confluence of the two. I knew she’d be over the moon excited for dress up photo time.

The day of, however, it was shaping up to be an unmitigated disaster. Alexis was awoken up an hour prematurity from her nap by our neighbor’s lawn mower. Nicole was over excited, and acting out as three year olds tend to do when their over excited. Alexis was coping her older sibling, as younger siblings tend to do. It was an explosive combination, one that went off several times between the end of Alexis’ nap and our appointment, including just minutes before the photographer was ready for us because Mommy dared to take off her shoes.

Our photographer was a dream. She’s the one who had taken Nicole’s photos before we moved to Silicon Valley and was the person I requested when we moved back. She had never met Alexis before, and yet was able to create a connection with her. Alexis forgot all about her shoes, and the lack there of.

A technically wonderful photo of an unhappy child is still a photo of an unhappy child.

After we were done, the photographer put a movie on for Nicole while she and I looked over the proofs with Alexis in my lap. The photographer would occasionally lean over and tickle her tummy. Alexis was so in to having the photographer tickle her tummy, that she kept making the “more” sign while insisting “Mawr!” I tried to tickle her tummy so the photographer was free to work on the proofs, but Mommy was an unacceptable tummy tickler substitute.

It’s rare for Alexis to connect with any of the other photographers we’ve tried. She’s always been a little more weary of strangers than Nicole, and hasn’t had the love for being in front of the camera like Nicole. Finding a photographer who can connect with one’s kids is an awesome feeling. We’ve already booked an appointment for family photos. I need a new photo for above our mantle.

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