So I went from celebrating Lincoln’s 5th birthday with photos on Thursday, to Haley’s 11th birthday yesterday. Isn’t she just gorgeous? I love, love, love the red shirt on her. It’s perfect with her eyes. I enjoy photographing this pre-teen age group. I think it’s an often over-looked age group when it comes to professional photos. We always photograph our babies and little kids, and then again when they are Seniors in high school, but often the middle years are less documented.
A few weeks ago, I went to a photography conference in Atlanta. One of the workshops I took was specifically on capturing tweens and teens. The photographer who taught the class, Neely Ker-fox, had a specific package in her business that focused on photographing this age group at home, focusing on the connection with their parents. I thought it was beautiful and very inspiring.
Another class I took at the Click Away conference was called “Your Voice, Your Vision” with Caroline Jenson. For that class, we had to submit 3 of our favorite photos to the instructor before the class. During the workshop we reviewed each others photos and talked about how the photos we picked gave some clues as to our photographic vision…things that we were drawn to in photography, whether we realized it or not.
Some of the things that the instructor and my classmates said about my images were that I was drawn to bold, colorful images and strong black and white edits. That was no surprise to me. But one thing that the instructor said that stood out to me is that all the photos I chose had at least two people in them. I guess I kind of new that, but it was interesting to have it pointed out. I do very much prefer photos that show a connection between two or more people.
I thought about that as I edited these photos I took for Haley’s birthday. Even though I love the photos of just Haley, who is gorgeous, all of my favorite photos were of Haley and Christy together. This is true for me even when you can’t see a lot of Christy in the photo, but she’s there…I love the way Haley is looking at her mom instead of at the camera. You can just see the love there.
What a crazy time we live in right now. When you stop to think about how many things have changed over the past few weeks, it can take your breath away. One of the things that is different right now is how we celebrate birthday parties.
First of all, let me say that I take social distancing very seriously. I wanted to be able to take these birthday photos for Beth on Lincoln’s special day, but I also thought it was important to follow all the recommendations. We met outside in Beth’s yard. I used only my 85 mm longer lens so that I never needed to be close to my subjects, and I never touched them, like I normally might to move a hand into the spot I wanted for a photo for example. So these are my version of front porch photos. But since Beth lives on a pretty large piece of land with some woods, you don’t see her house which is right behind us.
I photographed Lincoln’s birth six years ago and it was an amazing experience. Beth has been like a sister to meet since we met in college back in 1995. I’m so glad I was able to get a few photos to commemorate Lincoln’s birthday, even though it happened to fall during a Pandemic.
People are coming up with all kinds of ways to celebrate birthdays while still observing social distancing guidelines, so I thought I’d share a few that I’ve seen here in case you have a little one with a birthday in the next few weeks. It’s disappointing to have to cancel parties and other special events, but you can still have a memorable fun time at home.
For my daughter’s 14th birthday last week, I used Canva to create a website “card” that included lots of videos of her when she was younger that were cute and funny. It also included some YouTube videos that would make her laugh. She was disappointed in not being able to be with her friends, so I asked some of her friends to send me a video greeting of for her, and I included those as well. It was a great way to make her smile and feel like her friends were there with her even though they weren’t.
For Lincoln’s birthday, Beth planned a fun scavenger hunt for him in their yard. He had to follow clues that eventually led him to his birthday gifts. They were able to get take-out from Outback for his family meal.
Another friend I had told of how some friends of her daughters showed up in front of their house all dressed up in silly costumes they’d found at home to wish her daughter a happy 11th birthday. They stood across the street and did a fun happy birthday dance fo the birthday girl.
I’ve seen on the internet where there were birthday parades to celebrate a special day.
What other ideas do you have for celebrating a birthday during social distancing? I’d love to hear your ideas!