Three Sisters in the Studio

As I continue to update my blog, I’m loving going through the sessions from last year that haven’t gotten posted yet. I’ve known the two youngest girls in this family for a couple of years now, and it’s been fun to watch them grow. I can easily remember the youngest sister as a baby in a stroller, all bundled up in the wintertime with just her big, blue eyes showing. So when I got a call about doing a photo session with all three girls, I was excited to do it. They were a great group to have in my studio and the pictures and loved to pose – which is fantastic for any photographer. The pictures turned out beautifully and I still can’t get over the beautiful eyes on these three.

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Getting Ready to Go | Halifax NS Photographer

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It’s not just any family that would decide to leave a their normal, everyday lives to head to Haiti to work with and minister to its people long-term.  That, however, is what Robin and Beth Churchill are doing.  After having God lay this on their hearts last year, they and the two children they still have at home willingly chose to give up what they knew to head into a brand new adventure.  Jobs were given up, fundraising began and the house was put up for sale.  Knowing their story, I was more than happy to provide some head shots and portraits for them to use.  They’re a wonderful family with great things in store!  If you’d like to follow their journey, you can find out more at their website by clicking here.

 

All About the Boys | Halifax Nova Scotia Children’s Photographer

My husband calls me the Mac of photographers.  This isn’t because I’m so high tech, but because I’m all about simplicity in my pictures.  While I do occasionally have stylized photo shoots or make use of a well-placed prop, for everyday sessions I prefer keeping things simple.  I like to keep my studio portraits clean and uncomplicated for a couple of reasons.  First, I believe that it makes the photograph a little more timeless.  If my backdrops are plain, then one isn’t as likely to think, “Oh yeah – that’s when every one wanted barnboard for backdrops.”  The other reason is that there are no distractions to take away from my subjects and their personalities.  Take the boys in these pictures for example:  The pictures are all about them and their expressions.  While they’re handsome enough to look great no matter what, the simple background really helps them shine.

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These boys were fantastic to photograph.  They settled right in, gave me lots to work with, and got along beautifully.  In fact, I had so many great pictures of them that I had a hard time picking just the ones I did.  Their faces and expressions pop in these pictures, and the pictures are all about them.

 

Sisterly Love | Halifax Nova Scotia Children’s Photographer

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I grew up with two brothers and now have three boys of my own.  As a result, there is a definite lack of girly giggling, silliness, and cute sassy-ness in my life (I do get little boy sassy-ness, but it’s not nearly as fun).  I get to make up for that lack when I do sessions with girls, though.  These two were all about posing, smiling and having fun with each other. You can easily see in the pictures how much fun they have together.  I’m sure they’re not always like this, but I certainly didn’t see it if they’re not.  And their super-cute sweater dresses?  Well, all I can say is that I hope my boys give me granddaughters someday.  I’m itching to buy some little girl clothes.

How to Hopefully Take Great Pictures of Your Own Kids | Halifax Nova Scotia Children’s Photographer

Although I love candid pictures of my kids, sometimes I want a picture that’s a little more formal for the wall or hand out to grandparents.  However, that’s not always easy to do. Often, people think that when you’re a photographer, taking great pictures of your own kids comes naturally. This may give me a bit of an edge because I do it more often, but sometimes, being a photographer just makes taking pictures of your own kids worse.  See, I can be a perfectionist when it comes to posed pictures. I know what I’m after, and it’s very frustrating when I feel like my boys aren’t making it happen.  When I’m taking pictures of someone else’s children I can almost always get a nice, natural smile or expression, but if I so much as whisper “Picture Day” to my own, their memories of past experiences result in groans and gnashing of teeth the likes of which aren’t often witnessed in pre-apocalyptic times.

With all this in mind, here are some things I’ve learned that I thought I’d pass along:

 

 

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1. Bribery works.  Period. Especially when you have a kid or two who would much rather be doing something else. Taking nice pictures of my kids is usually a once or twice a year thing and it’s worth it to me to make it worth it to them.  Tell them what’s expected of them, pick something that your children want and use it to your advantage.  For my kids, money talks, and so I pay my kids to be in pictures.  I don’t pay them a lot, mind you – usually just $2 or $3 – but if they complain it’s not enough, I just remind them that, as their mom, I could just MAKE them do it for free.

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2.  Relax.  Once you’ve established what’s expected of your kids and what the reward is, relax.  If you’re constantly getting in their faces, fixing their hair, telling them to smile and getting frustrated when they don’t do it “right”, they’re going to get uptight, and feed off your frustration.  And when everyone is angry and/or crying, the pictures just aren’t as pretty.

 

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3.  Engage.  If you’re taking pictures of your own kids, don’t use “Say Cheese!”.  You’ll get a much better response if you talk or sing or tell jokes while you’re behind the camera. Once you see that look that’s your child at her best, snap it. And, if you need to pull in another family member or friend to stand behind you and make your kid giggle, then go for it.  In our family, few people can make my boys laugh for pictures like their brothers.

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4. Let it go.  Some details are important, some aren’t – figure what hill is worth dying on.  For me, in the case of these pictures, sometimes it was about letting my 10-year-old pick out his own shirt.  Yes, I knew it wouldn’t match anything else that his siblings were wearing since it had giant neon stripes on it, but he was a lot happier about pictures wearing something he picked out. Sure, in 20 years his kids would make fun of him for his choice, but that just made it sweeter for me.

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5. Know when enough is enough.  I really wanted a great picture of all three of my boys smiling at me, but we’d been at it a while and the novelty had long since worn off.  I knew I already had great pictures of each of them individually and some of them together laughing.  They were tired, I was far from relaxed and we all wanted to be done and go home, so I decided to call it a day.  We never did get the last picture I wanted, but we did get this one.  I’d say that I definitely got my six bucks’ worth.

Growing Family | Halifax NS Photography

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This super-sweet family came to me in part to get family pictures done and in part to get maternity pictures done of their beautiful mamma.  The two little girls were wonderful to work with and had no problem posing, playing and smiling and their new puppy even got in on the action a little. Since these pictures were taken, their adorable new addition has arrived, and with a fun and growing family like this, I’m sure there’s lots of fun to be had at their house.

Beautiful Baby Belly |Halifax NS Maternity Photographer

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I was so excited when this Mamma-to-be said she wanted to do maternity portraits.  Not only is she flat out beautiful, but she was so much fun to photograph.  She was super easy-going and we had a bunch of laughs as she put up with some different ideas for poses that I hadn’t used before.  I also loved the fact that her little ones jumped in for a a few pictures.

Sweet Little Sisters | Halifax NS Children’s Photographer

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One of the fun parts of being a photographer is being able to watch little ones as they and their families grow.  I’ve been photographing the girls in this family since the oldest was a baby and it’s been wonderful to help chronicle their little lives as they grow up.  Although they definitely have they’re own personalities (big sister was all about posing and loved being in front of the camera, while little sister took some time – and some well-placed bribes to warm up), they’re both sweet and were great to photograph.  I’m looking forward to see how they’ve changed when I’m back to photograph them again.

All Smiles | Halifax NS Baby Photographer

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I love photographing children and babies, and, while they are all fun to do, there are definitely some who give you a big, camera ready grin a little easier than others.  This little lady was one such subject.  As you can see by the pictures, she was all smiles and proudly showed off those adorable baby gums any chance she got.

Beautiful in Black and White

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There’s just something about black and white that brings out the emotion in a picture.  I think that’s why I love the pics of this brother and sister duo in monochrome.  They’re so expressive already, and having their pictures displayed in black and white brings that out even more.  From their beautiful eyes to their adorable smiles – it just makes them even better.

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