I had the privilege of photographing Elise’s Goddaughter Anna and her family a bit ago. They were passing through the area on their way to see family, and we had the opportunity to spend some time visiting. We were also able to squeeze in a session.
When photographing a family with small children or even when I am photographing just the kids, I know that I am on the clock. From the minute they walk into the studio… tic tic tic… At some point in the very near future, my little subject will be done, over, FINITO! You might think that knowing my little subjects well would give me an edge, and in many cases, I can turn that knowledge to my advantage. But sometimes, it works against me, familiarity breeds contempt. I often say that my kids are my worst clients, no time on their clocks for me… C’est La Vie.
No One Expects The Spanish Inquisition. Our Cheif Weapons Are…….
Just as Monty Python had their weapons so do I….. I start with engagement, then I move to distraction, and finally, I use good old fashioned slapstick humor. Engagement is by far the best, talking with your young subject, asking questions, being interested, and having fun.
No matter what happens during the session, being sensitive to the feelings our little ones and being willing to change our approach can not only extend the time we have on set but also creates an atmosphere where the child becomes comfortable in front of the camera and shows us their personality.
Of course, when the going gets rough I have my old standby… the pigs. When my girls were younger they would go to the store to help out and would sometimes return with this particular style of squeaky rubber pig toy. We eventually ended up with 4 differently colored rubber pigs each having a slightly different sound. When placed in the right order I’m able to play a tune. So far I can play “Mary had a little lamb”. Many of our clients have been treated a symphony from the Pig Orchestra.