My Most Challenging Sessions

I’ve been asked what my “most difficult session” has been by clients on more than one occasion.  My answer is always the same.  Not one single session has ever compared in difficulty to the task of photographing my own kids. Ever.

This one especially.  She absolutely will NOT look in the lens. EVER.  Now I’m all for the “lifestyle” shots, but it is nice to have an image depicting eye contact every now and then.  I love her to pieces, and her smile melts my heart into a warm little puddle of happiness.  I would like, just once in awhile, to get a shot of her with a genuinely happy expression while looking into the lens.

The only way that I am ever able to accomplish this is with patience. I cannot stand a “say cheese” smile.  I think that in general, saying “cheese” makes expressions turn out hallow.  The only way to get an image with her looking into the camera with a happy look is by putting her in a situation where she is overwhelmed with happiness.  Then I just hope that she directs that happiness my way.

In her now “almost” 5 years with us, I have a handful of these images.  I can remember each time she has given me a glimpse like this.  Once when she was very little, she found her feet and looked at me like, “oh my gosh, can you BELIEVE THIS?!” Another time she was with her Pop Pop in a restaurant playing with a new shark toy.  Another time we were at the zoo and she had just gotten a HUGE stuffed snake.

And this time?  She was sitting with her little sister and dad munching on some popcorn.  The Giants scored a touch down, which at that point in the game basically insured a win.  The kids were jumping up and down cheering along with my husband.

Yup, that’s my girl!

  • i can totally relate! my little one is exactly like this! not only does she not give me eye contact when i have the camera out, she actually goes out of her way to put the most bored, zoned out expression on her face! and i have yet to master the art of tack sharp focus when i have the camera away from my face :p

    i’m doing a project 366 of her this year (i know, i must be crazy!) and it is challenging, to say the least. but i am persevering. persevering in the hopes that one day she will cherish this part of her childhood that i have managed to capture.

  • It’s difficult, isn’t it? I too have trouble “shooting from the hip” and focusing. It seems to be hit or miss! I wish you luck on your 366. You are right, she will cherish the images one day!

  • M is exactly the same. M gives the zoned out expression too!
    but this portrait, gorgeous. and so much happiness in that smile!

    (love the new blog too! looks so light and fresh)