Sunday, October 05, 2008

Photographing the Kids

A while ago I made a formal declaration (to Audra) that I would no longer purchase those dreadful school pictures of the kids. I know that they are completely unnecessessary and waste of money, but nonetheless, there is a deep maternal pull that compells me to shell out $24.99 and pre-order a package of prints. I generally opt for the package with the lowest number of pictures, but still end up with 72 wallet sized pictures that I have no idea what to do with.

(You may have figured out by now that) I take a lot of pictures of the kids. I'm pretty sure that they'll be able to see a picture of themselves each month (even week) of their lives. I don't think we need the funky hairdo school picture and I personally don't need the stress of getting them photo-worthy during the week. Furthermore, one of my dearest friends is a professional photographer, and she doesn't force me to purchase 72 wallet size pictures.

Audra took this shot yesterday, she titled it "the perfect moores".

I'm pretty sure I know why Audra chose this one to send to me. My guess it that it represents who my kids are. Their individuality, their silliness is shining through. I love it.

Audra makes it look easy to capture such a scene. It doesn't look planned, staged, rehearsed, or contrived in any way; it's so natural.

But let me tell you, it's anything but.

The process starts weeks in advance with Audra and I conspiring about outfits and location. She e-mails me links to what she thinks the kids should wear, then I go to suggested stores to find these items. Then I take pictures of the spoils so Audra can see how close I got to the original list. (In this particular case, I was searching for a yellow turtleneck sweater for luck...)

Fast forward to the big day. First, the weather has to be okay. Then we start with hair. The shoot was at 2pm, so hair needed to start at 8am. Marshmallows = bribery.

Then there's Amelle. Amelle has her own sense style, so the first step with Amelle is getting her to realize that today is about me, not about her. This one day, she's going to have to let me decide how her hair is going to be. After today is over, I acknowledge that she can go back to commander of her hair. The braids are my attempt at controlling frizz, they're basically "setting" her hair, if you will. They'll be removed before the shoot. Amelle has serious frontal-frizz issues.

But then there are other factors that I can't control. Two year old moodiness is one of them. Amaya's bad mood almost ruined the entire session.

Almost. Once I found her kryptonite, we were able to make some headway.
Her kryptonite = gum.

I love watching Audra work her magic with the kids. I can't do what she does.
First, I don't have the skill to do so (see above shot of Amaya = completely blown out because I had my F stop too low and my ISO too high).

Second, and along the same lines as #1, I don't have the vision, you know, the "stand here and look that way" factor.
Third, my kids are more compliant with Audra.

Of course, compliance comes with a price. For my kids, that price is humongous ice cream.
Last year's shoot is here.


MaineMom said...

I *heart* Audra.

Your kids are easy to photograph. They are beautiful.

MaineMom said...

P.S. I completely agree about school pictures!! Why do I need 72 wallets?

It's the second biggest racket going (the first is the mining thing at Lost River)!!

T5M said...

Agree - they're a total racket, PLUS now they've started doing them twice per year!

In addition to school picks twice a year, you also have the obligatory "sports pictures" know, the ones where they're in their uniforms, posing with a ball or a bat or something - total lame-age. I'm done! Not doing it anymore. Especially when I can use my zoom lense and get a real action shot!

...and not in this economy! We're in a recession - lame pictures are not in the budget!

Denise said...

what a great picture! it could be an ad for some clothing company!

~Seth and Nancy~ said...

i'd take one of your 72 wallets off your hands :-) it is kind of a racket, but at the same time some of those shots are such classics!
the pictures are great. i'm looking forward to seeing the slideshow when she puts them all together.

Grandma said...

I fully expected to see a whole bunch of pictures today. You teased me with just a couple. I'm too old to be teased--so please!