Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Little Honesty Never Hurt Anyone

I have attempted in this blog to keep a professional appearance, but I think I need to be a little more realistic about my life and my business. As a mother of two crazy little ones life can be a little hard to balance.
What I learn in terms of photographing kids comes first from my girls and then is reinforced as I apply those techniques with families when I photograph them. I owe a lot to my daughters.
I am very grateful to be a mother and a small business owner. When I chose to follow my dream and start my business it was so that they could see their mother facing her goals and fulfilling them and not staying stuck in a nine to five office job that had no soul. Some days I revel in the creativity that photography allows me. The other days I slog through the administrative duties that running a business requires. It was not easy switching from being an employee and knowing exactly what the job entailed to being my own boss. I was very good at my previous profession. Now I work everyday at making my business successful.

So, after a stressful week I reset myself. Some days I have to forgo the paperwork and have some very silly playtime with my little monkeys.

Again I say that I did this not only for myself but for them and they do keep me grounded.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Child Photography 101

Eventually I would like to get to the point of offering general camera tips for SLR cameras as well as general composition tricks, but I want to continue on with the hints to fully engage children when attempting to take their photos.

The first thing to remember when taking portraits of kids is that kids generally expect adults to be, well, on the boring side. Adults can be so serious, but when we can let our silly side out we shall be rewarded with smiles and delights of glee from the little ones.
When I meet a family for the first time I try to create some kind of bond with the children I will be later photographing. I try to make a certain level of contact with them that can sometimes be just between us. Silly faces work great and taking an interest in what the child holds important also creates a greater level of understanding. I try to find out from the parents if the child(ren) is interested in a certain animal or character. It allows a conversation to begin. When I start shooting I do have a few tricks up my sleeve. Some of the techniques that can work are playing peak-a-boo. I may have to be patient with this one, but I can guarantee smiles do emerge and they are some of the most natural. I cannot imagine what the child otherwise thinks of the black box I am holding in front of my face, but if it is a tool that I can hide behind and peak out from with a very silly look on my face who would not smile.
I also keep with me a few little silly finger puppets that also like to play peak-a-boo. As seen in the above photo this little guy is trying to spy where my little felted friend will appear next. I captured some great smiles when he did find it and when the child smiles so freely the parents naturally break out into grins as well.

Dancing, (dare I say it) and jumping up and down also have a remarkable affect on kids. It may feel a little strange, but when everyone is acting a little silly laughter comes naturally. Showing kids that this is not a serious affair allows them to play more and become more involved in the shoot. Bribery works too, but it can often add stress to a situation and in the end will bring out resentment in the child.
One young child I photographed was a whiz at math. Numbers fascinated him. He was not willing to sit with his grandparents and the more they tried to get his cooperation the more he shut us out. I tried to engage his 'assistance' in helping me count out the shots and I promised him that once we reached that number he could do what he wanted. We agreed to ten (10) perfect images and he did his very best. He knew when it would be over and he was in control. I loved what he gave us and even after the ten were finished I was able to capture a few more without any direction as he played and lounged about. He was much more relaxed and a willing participant.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Healthy Families Conference

I just received an update regarding the Conference this weekend at UBC. They have a new half-day rate of $59.00 so that more individuals will be able to attend.
If you see my table at the Conference and book a session I will offer a free enlargement, up to 11 x 16.
Hope to see you there!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Yaletown Baby and Toddler Fair

The Yaletown Baby and Toddler Fair was a great event to meet small local businesses who cater to the needs of young families. I met a lot of amazing craftor moms. Carrie Randall organized the event in record time and will continue to bring innovative baby fairs to the lower mainland. Her next event is in Langley May 2nd. To reach her and find out more about these events check out:

Fruitcakes is a company that makes amazing food and focuses on specialty baking. Their words: 'Fruitcakes mission is to bring the benefits of eating a raw food diet to the mainstream'. Sign me up! I will be talking to them in the very near future. They are available for small events and specialty orders. To find out more information they have a facebook group or reach them at
I loved these little dolls.
To find more information about Dolly n' Boo go to:

To find more about these lovely little critters from Hudsonny check them out at: and their etsy site at:

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Love is in the Air.

I had the opportunity to photograph Ashley Marie and the love of her life, Sean. The two simply oozed love. Ashley is a musical drama student and had declared her love for Sean through music the night before at a performance. Why not follow this up with a portrait session on a beautiful spring day.