PhoArtgraphy | A joyful Christmas? | child portraits

A joyful Christmas? | child portraits

December 14, 2016  •  1 Comment

And it portraits. During the month of November, the only people really thinking about Christmas are the stores. Heck, they're thinking about Christmas in October too, but that's a discussion for another day. So what happens is many people end up having their holiday portraits taken in December. Not a problem because people are usually in the holiday mood. The only thing is that it makes my delivery window much smaller. I'm cool with that, mostly because delivering holiday cheer will make my clients happy and I just love happy clients.

Well one of my most recent portrait sessions was of two brothers...Evan and Gabriel. Evan is 6 and Gabriel is 1. If you work with children, you may have a sense as to how the session went. It started out with both boys being excited and jumping around and talking a mile a minute. They were grabbing toys, walking around my light and doing "the most". At one point Gabriel picked up a single drumstick and started beating on things. He swung it in the air, he beat on my umbrella and he even accidentally hit his brother in the head. We had to talk Evan out of crying. Those with children know exactly what I'm talking about. That calmed things down for a moment. Eventually they fell to the floor with Gabriel lying on Evan. This was the first image I captured. As you can see only one of them was ready. When I tried to get another one, Gabriel promptly hopped up, never to lie on him again. Ah well, I tried.

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I brought a bucket with me as a prop and the boys loved it. Maybe they loved it just a little too much. As you can see Gabriel beat a dent in the bucket and Evan was playing hide and go seek with his cars and the bucket.

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Yes, that was very interesting. I think it was after this series that I realized that I would have to split them up if I was going to get any decent images. They were too competitive for attention that it just wasn't going to work. Every child is different, as are the sibling interactions. So I have to observe them to see how well they play together to determine if it will work in my favor. Uh, this didn't work in my favor. We even tried keeping Gabriel occupied with clear tape, but he quickly removed it from his fingers and carried on moving around and doing whatever.

First we tried having the parents leave, but that just caused Gabriel to go looking for them. Next we removed Evan from the scene and I was able to  photographe Gabriel. This time we put him in his yellow, musical chair. Instead of walking all over the set, he basically sat there, banging his lone drumstick. The only time he would move was to stand up and then sit right back down. Had Evan been in there, that whole scene would have been different. Here are some of the images from that part of the session. The last image I captured was when Gabriel decided to pretend to play the trumpet. He put the end of the stick in his mouth and started humming like he was actually playing a trumpet.

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Now it was Evan's turn. He was dying for his turn. He had so much energy! I almost couldn't photograph him because he was moving around so much. During our time together, he kept wanting me to take a picture of his "boTTom". He would emphasis the Ts whenever he said it. He actually reminded me of an old English gentleman when he said it. He kept switching  between wanting me to photograph his "boTTom" and his "stinky feet". No, I didn't take a picture of his bottom in case you're wondering. Anyway, here are some of the images that I captured of him. I love capturing children enjoying themselves. He had all of these activities he wanted me to photograph him doing. Some were cute and others were definitely from the mind of a 6 year old. I'm game most of the time, but I do have my limits.

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This session was really 3 sessions in one! A children's session (with and without siblings), a family holiday session and a 1 year old cake smash. I will share one of the family images with you, but I will save the cake smash for my next post.

In case you don't know, group shots are not always that easy to get. Especially if you are dealing with a large group or small children. The issue we were having was that Gabriel did not want to act right. He kept trying to escape from is father's arms, only because that's where we wanted him to be. Then there was Evan making faces or having a goofy or extreme smile or just not looking at the camera. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do, so that's why I take several images. There was definitely some head swapping going on. This particular image was made with parts of about 2 or 3 images.

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Invariably someone will not be looking "right". In this case, Charlotte was the only one who was always ready. The other three...well it was a toss up. By the way, do you see those adorable giant Christmas ornaments? I brought those with me to be more festive and Gabriel kept throwing them around. No matter how many times we tried to get him to just hold them, he'd throw one as hard as he could and then reach for another one to throw; hence he is not holding any ornaments. They almost look calm don't they? Photoshop is a wonderful thing!

Hey, if you have any funny stories related to trying to take a family portrait, especially a family holiday portrait, I'd love to read it! Until next week, happy holidays!




Sharon johnson(non-registered)
These are nice pictures . Very creative. Nice looking family.
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