Being a child photographer can be very challenging. If you anything about babies and young children, you know this to be true. And the thing about it is that it’s not even that the child is unruly. I can honestly say that I haven’t had to deal with unruly children, well, except for one, many years ago. The funny thing about that session is that I wasn’t there to photograph her. I was there to photograph her mother’s maternity session. Anyway, the majority of the children and babies I have photographed have been well-behaved. Some are busier than others and they all have their own personalities, but they haven’t been difficult to work with. If you like and understand children, you’re used to it and can expect just about anything from them.
So, this past Saturday I had a portrait session with a beautiful, little angel named Ava. When I arrived at her home she was still napping. That was fine. It allowed me some time to chat with her mother and to start setting up. Since Ava is 6-months-old and still working on sitting up on her own, I thought it best that I photograph her on a bed. I figured that when she falls over, at least she’ll fall on something soft. LaShae brought me upstairs so that I could see how much room I had to work within the bedroom. It was a little tight but I knew that I could make it work. At this time, little Ava woke up. When LaShae picked her up, she was very alert and staring at me. What I like to do with babies is talk to them from a little distance while their mom or another family member holds them so they feel safe. After a few moments of this, she decided she wanted to come to me. I held her as she stared intently at me and after that, it was time for her to go back to her mother. That’s also when we realized she was hungry. As her mother fed her, I finished bringing my equipment in and setting up. I had just enough room for my light which left me enough room to shoot from the bathroom. Hey, you do what you gotta do.
For the first images, I wanted Ava laying on her tummy. That didn’t work. She kept looking up at her mom, which caused her head to fall to the left and then made her tumble over onto her side. LaShae tried several times to get her to lay on her stomach but her nosiness combined with her heavy head, made it difficult for her to keep her balance. Needless to say, we had her tripod in a sitting position. From there, I was able to get some cute images of her.
There were even a few images where her mom propped her up against some pillows. Those shots I didn’t like too much. She looked like she was waiting for a manicure.
The main problem is that I really wanted her to smile. She was friendly enough, but she was being rather stingy with her smiles. I started clicking my tongue, popping and motorboating my lips. She seemed to like it and I was able to get some smiles out of her. But whenever I put my camera up to my face, the smile would disappear. No matter how quickly I focused, the smile was always gone. Ah well…you win some, you lose some. I still captured some cute images of her because, well, she’s cute. I also captured some that were just funny. She’s starting to master the side-eye.
Turns out that I had to go back to my client’s house the following day because I left my reflector holder. Darn it! So, on my way there, LaShae texts me a picture to show me that she had a half-smile. Really? Now I feel like she’s rubbing it in. lol. She even showed me pictures on her phone when she was four months old and smiling. Next time, I’ll get her to smile. Pray for me. Anyway, below are some of the images of the session. Just so you know, these were basically headshots for a modeling agency, so I didn’t want to distract from her cuteness by using props. Besides, I’m not really a big prop person anyway, but it was a very simplistic session to get what she needed.