Apparently I’ve made the finals in the Brilliance in Blogging Awards 2019 – in the Photography category! This is a special category to me as I won it three years ago, back in the good old days where the #BiBs had their own award ceremony and as I hadn’t anticipated winning in the least, I hadn’t written a speech and had to conjure one up as I walked onto the stage to collect my award! Everyone was very kind and laughed at the funny bits, and even though I hadn’t gone into labour as I had hoped (I was 36 weeks pregnant with the girls at the time and had spent much of the day bouncing on the trampoline that they had at the event), I had a brilliant time.
So I thought I’d share a blog post about how I document my preschoolers. If you’re interested in how I process my images, you might like to read this workflow tutorial that I shared a few years ago, but in this post I’m just planning to talk about how I shoot them. And I’m going to share a full photoshoot that was taken a few weeks ago, when the boys were still preschoolers (they started Reception last week in real, actual school – sob!). The boys are four years old and the girls are three at the time of taking these photos and writing this post.
Very rarely do I take them out solely to ‘take photos’. We go out to do something else, and in the process of doing the something else, I take some pictures.
This works well because they find it easier to get excited about leaving the house to go somewhere than they do about hanging about so that mum can rearrange them into endless poses and coax them to smile. On this occasion we went out to buy books at our favourite children’s boutique.
But be mindful of the background
If you intend for the background of your photoshoot to feature in the images too, try to choose somewhere that is aesthetically pleasing and matches the ‘style’ of your images.
Ask your children for their ideas and show them how it looks
Most of these photos were styled by the four-year-olds! They absolutely thrive on any excuse to boss around their little sisters, and all four enjoy checking the back of the camera to see how the pictures came out. After they’ve dictated the ‘look’ for a few pictures they are also far more willing to give me a turn at arranging them for a photo.
Dress them to look like their best versions of themselves… but avoid clothing they’re not comfortable wearing
By this I mean that by all means, you should feel free to shop for your photoshoot, but I can virtually guarantee that the images that you’ll treasure most in years to come are the ones in which you capture your children exactly as they are – so don’t deviate too much from that. And absolutely take into account their preferences; you want them to look natural and at ease, which they won’t be if they’re stuffed into something that doesn’t feel right to them.
Don’t be afraid to reward
They’ve given you their time, their patience and their creativity – it’s absolutely fine to reward with some little treats or sweeties (choose something that isn’t sticky and definitely not chocolate!). You can actually see mine munching on sweets in a few of these pictures – being the nerd that I am, I chose a type of sweet that coordinated well with the look that I was going for!
A favour to ask: If you enjoyed this blog post, I would welcome your vote in the Photography category of the BiBs 2019. Thank you so much in advance!