When I first started out as a photographer, I was always amazed when parents would gush over an image, that if I were to put before a panel of “experts”, it would be taken apart for technical errors. As a parent, I’ve learned that those expressions are the ones that capture who your child really is.
Lately, Ella’s been fascinated with looking through her first year album. She’s been learning about emotions, so will make comments like “cry” or “sleep” or “happy”, according to what she sees. It’s put in perspective what I’ve always tried to accomplish with my photographs. A child is not confined to the one glorious happy smile. He or she could be shy, or sleepy, or thoughtful at different times during the day. As parents, we “know” each of these different expression and what they mean for our child. They are the things that make our child unique. They are what gets us through a tough day or makes us want to tear our hair out. Ultimately, it’s what makes us LOVE our kids.
So when you’re capturing images of your child, don’t forget to look for moments where they may not be aware of the camera. Or try to get them telling you a story. The more animated and natural your child is, the better the photographs will be.