Do you sometimes wish you could go back to being a child without a care in the world? I do sometimes, because it was a world of imagination and freedom. Who am I kidding? I still live in a world of imagination, but I do have to find that inner child to bring it out as a family and children’s photographer.
Perhaps that is why children are one of my favorite subjects to photograph.
I love the fact that when it comes to kids I can capture the rawest and truest emotion without coaching. No offense to those of us who are older, but we tend to have up walls to keep others from seeing how we really feel or what we think at times. It can be a challenge to get people to let down their guard with me due to nerves and their own insecurities.
Not with kids!!!!
Even if a child is shy with me in the beginning they don’t stay that way for long because I encourage them to play. I have been known to tell them, “Listen for the next 30 minutes you don’t have to listen to mommy. Would you like to throw sticks or pine cones at me?” It never fails they start giggling and off we go.
At times I give them little props and tell them stories to help them along in play. I love it when they run with the idea I gave them and their own tales go off on tangents. It takes me back to when I was child day dreaming and creating my own fantasy worlds while wearing a house coat.
Oh yes! Somewhere my mom had found a deep burgundy house coat and I use to wear it as my royal robe while prancing around in the yard with it trailing it behind me. As for my magic scepter that was a blind turner thing you could remove from your window blinds. I was super lucky though because my mom had one blind that was forest green. When I was not acting like the self-proclaimed “Queen of the Forest” I was reading books.
I giggle now thinking back on those days but they were magical and mysterious. Engaging with little ones as they grow and helping them see images of themselves in play helps me keep my own imagination alive. Then there are the moments when their innocence and untouched youth just beams from their eyes as they look at up at my camera lens. In that instant I freeze and immortalize that moment for their family and them for years to come.
I wish, as adults, that we could all go back to being more like children in the sense that we don’t have reservations and just be who we truly are. Not judging ourselves but exploring life with a natural curiosity instead of worrying about the demands and pre-conceived judgements that plague us daily.
I’m preaching to the choir here though, but when I get out with children I too let go of all those worries and lie in the grass with them, get dirty, and for a little while reclaim my own adventuring spirit.
To view more of my work with children and family visit my page dedicated to it here!