I have often looked at dreamy family photography, where the children lovingly cuddle bunnies and the light make them seem like magical little fairies, wondering how in the world did they DO that???
My confusion isn’t as much from the point of view of a photographer, but rather that of a parent. How in the world do you get a one year old and four year old to cooperate?? What I’ve come to realize, is simply that you don’t. You can only roll with the punches and try to have the kids be as comfortable as possible and hope for the best.
In Pretoria we are blessed each spring with Jacaranda trees going into full, gloriously purple bloom. It makes for a truly breathtaking sight, and creates a photographer’s paradise. As such, I have done an annual “Jacaranda shoot”, and this year I decided to photograph my own little girl, along with a close friend’s two daughters. The results did not disappoint.
The late afternoon sunlight, along with the purple in the trees, made the perfect setting to photograph little beings made of sugar and spice.
However, these magical moments were few and far in between. What I’ve now learned being the photographer of my own children, is that you have to shoot like an AK on acid! They will do the cutest things when you are not ready, therefore you need to concentrate more than at a wedding. But kids being kids, the magic will happen without your effort. There are, unfortunately, always challenges. . . .
Point of all of this is that as is often the case in photography, the end result is much more glamorous than the process. Do not get discouraged as either a parent or photographer when it takes all of your efforts, resources and skills to get through a location family shoot. The end result is definitely worth it.