Beautiful. . . photography by Maria Gvedashvili. (note: the site will load with music, so mute your speakers. But the images are amazing!)
It’s been ages since I took photos of a baby. My “baby” is 16 and taking photos of him typically requires negotiation and pleading on my part. And then we have that awkward dance where I try to get him to smile and he refuses and then I recommit to stalking him when he’s not looking, because that’s probably the only way I’m getting the shot I want. In the world of social media and a life lived online, my child is quick to duck the camera. Like his mother.
But, the opportunity to take pictures of tiny ones, little ones, is in my near future. I’m now an Auntie with a camera. And I desperately need to brush up on my skills. Babies are easier to photograph than surly teens, but only by a smidgen. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to have ideas ahead of time. So, of course, I’m digging around Pinterest for ideas.
I’ll confess, I’m not a huge fan of the classic studio work for children’s photos. Babies and toddlers (or adults for that matter) don’t sit around in front of blue canvas backdrops, so why we insist on photographing them like that is beyond me. Fortunately, though traditional studio photographers are still abundant if that’s your thing, the trend has shifted. People are taking a more candid approach to photographing children, even if those photographs are still shot in a studio. (as the above photo most certainly was)
But, but, you say: Sears and the local photographer are so inexpensive. True. But so is grabbing your camera, heading outside on a nice day (overcast is best!) and telling the kids, “Hey, let’s play!” Or asking a friend who is handy with a camera. Or talking to a local photographer and giving them examples of what you’re looking for. Most people who take photos of children professionally (unless it’s in the mall!) are artists themselves and would probably welcome the chance to use that particular muscle!
Here’s the thing: while I’m not a fan of the classic studio posed photo (we don’t have any of those of our child!) I understand some people love them. What I’m advocating for the future, is that you capture a MOMENT in time. What makes a great photo worth keeping is the memory it evokes. The story attached to it. And this is what the studio photo lacks, at least for me. I didn’t want to remember wrestling a fussy toddler into formal wear and coaxing him to sit up and smile while some stranger cooed and dangled stuffed toys in front of him to keep his attention.
I wanted to remember the dirty hands from making mud pies. A cheesy grin and a messy ice cream cone. The sheer delight and laughter after sliding down the big slide. Running through sprinklers. Holding hands. Blowing bubbles. Laughing. Laughing. Laughing.
My bias is showing, but I’m convinced the moments of life worth keeping cannot be found in front of a blue canvas backdrop.
Looking for great ideas on how to photograph your adorable child? Come follow my Hey Baby board on Pinterest.