If I had to say what age group is the most challenging for photos, I’d have to say it is big kids / tweens. Most people with toddlers, assume their toddlers are the hardest. Some photographers might agree, but not for me. Toddlers are fast, and always do the unexpected, and will never ever stand in the spot you want them to stand in, but they are always, without fail, 100% authentic.
But by the time they become big kids, children have been conditioned to act in a certain (wrong) way for portrait sessions. They “behave” and stand wherever you ask them to, with this forced, uncomfortable smile on their faces, talking to me through clenched, smiling teeth when I ask them questions.
So I’ve had to find ways to overcome this.
Usually, this means playing and being silly.
Sometimes I think parents must think I’m nuts to have somehow turned their well-behaved children into giggling, energetic goof balls by the end of the session, but honestly I prefer that to stiff children I see at the beginning of a session. I am so thankful to the parents in this session because they stood back and let me guide the children in play and silliness instead of trying to force a certain pose or photo that they had in their heads.
My guidance varies depending on the family, but for this session we discussed what vegetables are gross, embarrassing moments (they preferred to tell me one of a friend’s moments instead of their own, but it still worked), and whether or not Daddy is a good dancer. We raced, played tag and roughhoused. It was perfection. These two twins were just so much fun to watch. I loved seeing them interact with each other and trying to capture the connection between them. And those Freckles!!! ❤️❤️❤️