Good afternoon you guys! It's been a couple of weeks since I dropped the Price lecture on you, so I took a little break. Actually, let's be honest, I am not sure if anyone even reads my blogs...however, I love being able to use this as an outlet and a way for you to get to know me better. It also helps you understand some of the business practices I have, why I do them a certain way, and maybe why I have changed things recently. My shift in branding threw everyone off a little, including myself, and I am finally finding my feet again on solid ground. Going from trying to be an exclusive wedding photographer to exclusively a children's photographer is a HUGE leap. It's a big difference in money, it's a huge difference in shooting....it's just different. But kids are my happy place, and capturing a magical childhood feeds my soul, and makes all of the time and effort worth it to me. That passion that I have truly shines through when I am shooting things I love.
So, what does the title of this blog have to do with all of this you ask? I am about to tell you! <3
As long as I can remember, I have said, whispered, screamed, and chanted the word "Cheese" during my sessions. "Say Cheese baby!" "Cheeeeese" "Cheeseburgerrrrr".....because everyone wants that perfect smiling picture of their kiddo looking at the camera and sitting just right, RIGHT? Maybe. Or maybe they just think they do. But, let me tell you what they really need, and they don't even really know it. They need pictures of their kiddo being THEIR kiddo. Playing, rolling around in the grass, exploring, doing that precious little face that they make when they are thinking too hard, crying, and yes, laughing. But, saying cheese, or trying to force a smile out of a kid definitely doesn't accomplish that. I cannot believe that it took me 9 long years to really realize it. Kids are kids. They are really gonna do what they want to do, and if you try to force them to do what YOU want them to do, all while forcing a camera in their face and screaming at them.....inevitably they are going to cry. And then it starts all over, with a red blotchy face, and tear stained cheeks, and tear filled eyes. And that causes frustration in parents, and anxiety in babies. They don't understand, and they are SO overstimulated and they have NO idea who to look at or what to do. So, they cry. And understandably.
So I decided it was time to try a new approach. Let them be little. Talk to them, interact with them, play with them....and magic happened. Since I have started that, I try to start every session by telling Mom, Dad and kiddo..."I am NOT going to ask you to smile." Sure, I get some weird looks, but I tell them to trust me. If I get smiles, I want them to be genuine. I want them to be real. I want them to emulate childhood joy and laughter. Because when you tell a kid to smile, that is NOT what you get. When they are older, grown, in college and you look back at the pictures on the wall of them looking curious, or running, or rolling around, or even CRYING...you are going to feel your heart clench up a little bit. And I promise you won't be upset that they weren't sitting perfectly, with the perfect outfit, in the perfect position, with the perfect smile. Because childhood is anything but perfect. It's messy, and crazy , and chaotic, and happy, and perfectly IMPERFECT. And those memories that I get for you, will be the ones that you look back on and smile and say...."Do you remember that time...?" Parents, relax and enjoy the ride. Childhood is gone in an instant, and the next thing they are grown with children of their own. Enjoy each season of their lives. Because you only have so many days with them.
I have also tried my best, and WILL continue to enforce a "50 foot rule" for my parents. This simply means, stay back, observe from a little ways back, and let me interact with your baby! Sit back and relax. Take it all in. I promise I have a method to my madness, but when there is 4 people standing at all angles behind me all screaming "SMILE!!!", they really have no idea who to look at, and they get frustrated. I will give you amazing memories. Trust me to do that for you. Let me be the one to give direction, and don't worry if they are running all over God's green creation....it's part of the job description being a baby/kid wrangler. It's my favorite part actually. 😍
As we move into summer...I find my calendar more full than it has been in a very long time. It makes me humbled and blessed that so many people trust me with their memories. I cannot wait to see what comes of each one. Also, there are LOTS of fun themed sessions coming in the Summertime, so be on the look out.
I would love to hear from you what you think about this blog, leave a comment to let me know! Maybe I will realize that I am not speaking into the great vast unknown with no one listening! 😂😂😂
As usual, I love you guys! And I will leave you with some pictures that I didn't say Cheese on....