A lesson in 3 year olds

July 31st, 2012 admin Blog No comments

It’s been a while since I last posted, as the summer holidays have meant that family time has taken priority over anything else.  However, I have been meaning to blog about my last session a few weeks back for some time, as it was definitely one to remember.

The two sisters were adorable, it has to be said. What this portrait session reaffirmed to me, however, was that your approach as a photographer really needs to differ depending upon the age of the child you’re shooting.  This is something I should know, particularly as I have kids of my own, but in this role you are constantly challenged, and it’s the challenges which make the experiences so much more rewarding as you do come away feeling like a lesson has been learned.

At the start of the day it was the eldest daughter who seemed to not want to play ball, as she was flatly refusing to wear the gorgeous dresses her mum had selected for the shoot. First lesson – although myself and their mum had spent weeks planning the shoot down to the finest details including the dresses they would wear, it does not mean that this will happen smoothly on the day! However, with some coaxing she did oblige, and once she was complimented on how pretty she looked, she was thrilled.  The youngest seemed so keen first thing and was so full of beans, I thought it would be easy to get her there and take loads of pre-planned photo’s of them both.

We arrived at the spot, loads of wild flowers were out and it was beautiful, although I was aware that it was approaching midday and the sun decided to come out at full glare (not ideal as it creates a very harsh light) so was starting to feel that things might not be going to the meticulous plan I’d had in my head.  As I was setting up, I sensed that the youngest was getting tired and fed up- as 3 year olds do – and things were starting to take a turn for the worst, so I decided the best plan was to photograph as quickly as possible to capture what I could out of the day.  Lovely Grace was brilliant – she sat where I asked, took direction and even waded into a field surrounded with nettles to have her photo taken.  All the while, mum was trying to calm down Molly who was now wanting to go home, and after picking her up with a shoe covered in dog dirt, proceeded to get it all over her dress!  Oh my, not how we had planned it all, their poor, poor mum by this point was thoroughly fed up!

We realised that this put an end to the photo session we had planned, but I also realised that my best option was to spend the little time we had left photographing Molly, whatever her mood. It reaffirmed to me that, although a 5 year old will sit and do what you ask to fit in with the shots you have envisaged, a 3 year old has a mind of their own and will do nothing of the sort! But for this reason, sometimes you can get the best photo’s of this age group, as they wear their hearts on their sleeve and what you get is the true child.  I was so pleased with the photo’s of them both, despite how short the session was, the beauty of Grace as I had hoped it would be, and the natural raw emotion of Molly, a 3 year old who wasn’t in the mood to share her strawberries!  Just a shame I didn’t get one of the two girls with their mum, but after the dog mess incident I don’t thing she was feeling very glamorous!

I should point out that, like with the Love family, if the session doesn’t go to plan I will reschedule it for a better time for everyone involved, as it’s essential that you get your money’s worth.  It is important to me that I deliver what I promised, and I am the first to understand that you can’t always tell how these things will go when it comes to children.


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