There are snapshots that record what your child looks like, and there are photos that perfectly capture who there are. Which are you more likely to hang on the wall?
Photographer Kristin Wilkerson wants to make sure you are shooting those personality pictures worth saving forever.
Photographing our children can sometimes be a frustrating task. We want to get those amazing photos that are “hang on the wall” worthy but when we are trying to incorporate the things they love sometimes they photos fall flat and seem more like snap shots. I have some tips that will help you freeze time and create beautiful photos for your wall as well as record your memories.
What is an All About Me Session: “All About Me” sessions are meant to help record not just what they looked like but WHO THEY ARE. What do they love, how do they spend their time, what excites them.
Where is the best place to photograph these types of shoots? Be creative with your location. When your kids are young I think your home is a great place to capture who they are because that is where they spend most of their time. As they grow consider locations like an old baseball field, a dirt hill, a ballet studio. Your location can bring the look and feel that you are trying to remember.
How do we make these photos “wall worthy”? The best way to keep these sessions not looking like snap shots is to style the session. For me these sessions are not lifestyle in the sense that it’s the everyday photo. I style the shoots so that they look organized and beautiful but also incorporate what the child loves.
Thoughtfully consider where and how you want to photograph them. Make sure that your location is clean and free from clutter or other things that will distract from your subject.
Make sure that you are not using too many props. If they like princesses stick to a princess crown or wand. If they like lego’s place them in a way that is visually interesting instead of just having them spread out around the room. Instead of having them decked out in sports attire just bring the bat, ball, or mask.
Use your design skills. Just because it’s all about me doesn’t mean it has to be lifestyle. If your little girl likes playing with a tea set take her to a grove and set up a table with a tea set and dangle different items from the trees. All About Me doesn’t mean real life it just means incorporating their real life into a styled shoot.
When we try to style the shoot isn’t that when the frustration sets in? Even though you are going to style the surroundings, leave yourself open to artistic expression as you start interacting with the child. The worst thing we can do when photographing children is try to force the ideas in our head onto them. Children are unpredictable and if you want to have a good experience and get good pictures you absolutely have to go with the flow and let them lead you to the shots that will melt your heart.
You’ve taught us how to do it, but what are the benefits to hiring someone like you to do it for us? There are benefits that come with hiring a professional. They are experienced with light and composition and that can take some of the pressure of you. It also gives you the opportunity to get into the pictures. Especially when your children are young you are a major part of everything they do. Even though we don’t always feel picture worthy these photographs will prove to be some of our most treasured when our children are grown. Some people are surprised to hear that I actually hire someone to take pictures of my kids. I want to be part of their memories and on top of that it eliminates the stress which I’m always 100% for.
Kristen Wilkerson is a professional photographer in Logan, Utah. You can find more of her work at www.kristinwilkersonphotography.com.