Recently, my friend Catherine and I took advantage of the beautiful sunshine we’ve been having to take some outdoor shots of her two children, Daniel (4) and Elena (2). I’m not unaccustomed to taking shots of kids of course, but I decided to introduce a few new challenges for this shoot!
1. By moving out of the studio and into the garden, we benefit from the injection of colour from the beautiful spring flowers, but the wide open spaces give the children (and, therefore, me!) more scope to run around and it can be quite exhausting to pin them down. Toys offered a welcome distraction and we had most success with toys and objects that were new to them, such as the croquet hoops.
2. Daniel has just come out of a stage of not wanting to be photographed and, thanks to years of coaxing by his mum, now wants to say, “Cheese!” at every opportunity. The key here was to give him time to relax and start playing, and try to catch him unawares.
3. Elena, on the other hand, is the most serious-looking two-year-old I’ve ever met! Although we did get her to smile in the end, Mum was more than happy with the serious shots. Catherine told me, “These photos sum her up perfectly and when I look at them I see echoes of me at the same age and also my late mother and grandmother.”
Whether they’re overly serious or too obliging with the cheesy grins, it’s a real pleasure to photograph kids with character and we’re already planning the next shoot!