Springtime Smiles at The Camera’s Eye

Sit and smile – it’s that easy, right? Not always! I had a recent spring-themed session with this little doll:

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Now, would you believe me if I told you that at first she was completely against having her photo taken? That she wouldn’t let go of her stuffed friend? Exhibit A:

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But with a little coaxing, I got to watch both her and her smile bloom.

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What you can’t see in the photo? The pile of stuffed animals that are around her feet. I keep them handy for just these kinds of situations. Once she had her support system in place, she added her own little stuffed friend to the rest.

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I have so, so, so much fun with shoots like this at The Camera’s Eye. And what’s funny is that there are parents out there who dread shoots like this! Not because of the outcome, of course, but because they’re afraid that their kid won’t behave “properly” or won’t let go of that favorite stuffed toy long enough to sit for a photo. Guess what? Sitting still is NOT required to get some memorable shots of your little one. Maybe your kid is too shy to even look at the camera or keeps hamming it up for the lens. That perfect smile can come out in a lot of ways, and I don’t have any rules about how to make that happen. The way that I see it, we’re too quick to call things “misbehaving,” when really kids are just “behaving” – behaving like themselves. And the point of any good portrait is to capture the subject just as he or she is, right?

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Think about this the next time you’re setting up a family photo or thinking about taking your little ones in to get some portraits done. If you work patiently with whatever the hang-ups are, you can get some honest, beautiful photos of your kids. In my opinion, that’s the best kind of photo to have – a snapshot of that moment in time when they were completely free, goofy, whimsical, whatever. Best of all, they can remind us of when we knew how to act the same way.

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