“I should warn you… my child is pretty shy.” says client #47263
My response? Great! S/he is going to have a wonderful time – I promise!
Call me crazy but I love shy kids. I love kids that just can’t sit still and want to be silly, Silly, SILLY! Why? Because I’m silly, Silly, SILLY! Kids can’t and should not be expected to go through an hour+ photo session with perfectly posed photos. It’s just not natural! Kudos to the moms who have kids who can manage this… Help me please! My kids are like tornadoes.. or in my case TWINadoes. Yup.. somehow I got blessed(??) with twin boys. At nearly 7 years old I’ve given up trying haha they used to be my models. Now? They run as far and as fast as they can – away – as soon as the camera comes out.
That aside.. if you cannot handle unruly kids – then don’t focus your photography on children. I recently had a friend send me their photos from their session with another photographer (how dare they?!) and said “what do you think of these?” and waited for my response. (She has 7 year old twin boys as well and they are the SWEETEST!)
I saw lopsided grimaces, awkward old school poses and limbs cut off. My eyes wandered all over the images trying to figure out the focal point and i was left wondering, “What was this photographer trying to capture or say with this image?”
Aside from the awkward relationship between photographer and child, I couldn’t help but notice several other things wrong with the photos. They were off-kilter – almost every one of them! You could tell the barn used in the background wasn’t levelled out which could have done a world of difference to the quality of the images. In several of the images – the subjects eyes were not crisp. Not crisp?! Blurry?! Oh nope. That’s a big no no… unless it’s a bokeh and meant to be blurry. (No, I don’t expect you to know what a bokeh is.. kudos if you just Googled it!)
Having props. I love props! But posting a shot where the main prop is an elegant loveseat and it is cut off.. all the way around? What is the point? Don’t even get me started on the fact that some of the images were in blaring sunlight, subjects were squinting horribly and had tree shadows cast across their faces. In the beginning of my career I made these mistakes too! I’m sure I still make mistakes that loads of other photographers will be quick to point out. I’m learning.. but my prices and my integrity reflect that. I will be quick to tell my client if I’m unsure I can do something they want me to do. (Example: my cousin I told her so. She had faith in me. I asked another professional photographer that I idolize – hey can I assist at a photoshoot before my cousins wedding so I don’t muck it up and I learn from someone awesome like you? Their response was YES! And now after those 2 sessions… I am dying to do more weddings. It’s an addiction now.)
My main points that I am trying to make are not that I think I am a better photographer than someone else – my point is that paying attention to details will set your work apart from other photographers. It will make clients attracted to your work – even if it is more expensive than the other guy!