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So after the recent success of capturing my myself and my mini ballerina, and how smoothly it went now she’s that little bit older,  I was feeling ambitious and decided to attempt to update our family photo album now also. I like to try to take new photos of them at least once a summer (if I can emotionally prepare and motivate myself enough to take on this mighty challenge). I wanted to capture some of all my smalls together and….. possibly if that went well attempt one of all five of us. I got a lovely one of the three of them together last summer, but I’ve yet to take that PERFECT photo of us all together. I mean, other people tell me I already have, but I’m a perfectionist and I’m determined to get a photo which I think is P E R F E C T – where we all look A.mazing and the light and back drop is to die for! Where I can see nothing I could have done better. One where we all look happy and relaxed (….and clean! My kids tend to get straight into digging in the mud or run around getting hot and sweaty as soon as they are let loose from the car!). You may think ‘but as a professional photographer why is it so complicated to take a picture of 3 young children together and a family photo?…. surely you do that most days for your clients?’ True. But their children don’t suffer from ‘photographers child syndrome’. I promise it’s a real thing!! … it’s well known in the trade. It’s where you can take the most stunning photos of other peoples families and create images that belong on the front of some ‘family life’ magazine, but when it comes to your own children, they don’t listen to a word you say, or if they do listen decide to do just the opposite. They do their best to look miserable and revolting, resulting in the worst photos you’ve ever taken and the feeling of complete failure on your part, like you are a fraud and shouldn’t be paid to take photos… ever! Not to mention the technical difficulties of being in front of the lens with them and not behind the camera. Arrrrrgh!

Perhaps I’m not being fair to my kids here. My eldest is pretty good and has given me some wonderful portfolio shots. I’ve also had two successful shoots with my two youngest smalls now this year. So perhaps they are actually out growing this frustrating stage and things will be easier from here on! Time to see….

We headed out to the same location to where I did the ‘Mummy and me’ ballerina session. The light wasn’t as nice as the last session by the time we got there, but we were all dressed up and ready to go and honestly, after the effort and organising that took, I don’t think I’d come back again if we put it off for another evening! So we went for it.

I was stressed. It’s always different when shooting your own kiddiwinks. I’m already feeling my BP rise even before shooting just because of the drama of getting them all organised and ready, keeping them clean, keeping them in a good mood on the way so they co-operate once we arrive etc. I know that my clients will see way less flaws than I will, so I also knew that I had to really nail every little thing. Added to those feelings is  the thought bubbling away in the back of my mind that after all the effort of dressing us up and dragging us out that I may end up with no photos if it doesn’t go well and that thought made me want to cry and feel on edge. I wanted to get THE perfect photo of them and one of us all together worthy for the wall SO badly. I also wanted us to enjoy it and for it to feel relaxed. There is no point in having a beautiful photo on the wall if every time the family looks at it we remember what a horrible evening we had! There were times I got a little grumpy –  just when I almost had the perfect shot and one of them would suddenly lose interest or something else caught their attention. My lovely hubby just gently reminded me that they are only children and not to put to much pressure on the situation. Keep it fun. I think in the end that’s what they will remember it as… fun. Especially the part where I promised them sweets afterwards (I know, shocking bribery tactics) if they would let me take just another few photos (famous last words!). There was silliness. Laughter. There were no tears. I love the ones of them together. The light isn’t quite as nice as I had hoped but that was beyond my control and I think the expressions and connection between them are really lovely and that’s what’s most important. I managed to get one of all 5 of us together. There are a few minor things I would change if I could go back, but overall I like it and given that I’m in the photo I think it’s a job well done and will print it for the wall. I got individual portraits of the handsome hubby and my eldest, but the little two had had enough by then. It’s a shame, but it was more important to me to get the group shots so still a win overall. Another successful family shoot encouraging me to definitely take them more often. Maybe some autumn shots next!

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Emmy x

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