My best photo sessions happen when I can focus on present over perfect. Photographing kids can sometimes be like herding cats, so it’s better to go with the flow than against it. If everyone is looking and smiling at the camera, GREAT. If everyone is happy, but not looking at the camera, AT LEAST NO ONE’S CRYING.
But seriously, when we can relax into the rhythm of what a family is (ie: not perfect) things will be better than perfect. I love working with this family because they appreciate the in-between moments.
It’s hard in the middle of a stressful situation (like a photo session!) but try to remember to stay calm. Attitudes are contagious and when parents set the tone, the kids will follow. I love to see families laughing, joking and just having all kinds of fun. Even if they’re not looking at the camera, it’s perfect.
family photographer orange county, Kristin Eldridge
My favorite shots always tend to the be the ones where you don’t even know I’m there. I love when families are in the moment and they forget this is a photo shoot. The moment captured forever is a true glimpse into life. Because kids only like to be tickled for so long. And bear hugs that lead end up in belly laughs won’t last forever. So, let’s make it happen and forget all about the camera.
Sometimes we (meaning me, the photographer, and you the client) go into a photo session with an agenda. There are certain shots we want to get, there’s a certain feel we want to convey in the photos. We have expectations. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Expectations and ideals help us get where we’re going. But, sometimes, we let those things get in the way of a really great moment.
As I’m working with you, if I feel like we’re just fighting against the current, I’ll stop. I’ll tell you it’s not worth it and we should let the moments lead us and not the other way around. Sure, I’m directing this photo shoot, but there are times where you need to stop and cuddle your toddler. Or you need to let your little girl stop to pick up shells because that’s what she’s dying to do. Most times, I’ll be able to come back around to that perfect family photo you were dreaming of. But, I don’t want you to miss out on those little in between moments. If it feels too difficult, it probably is. And we should stick to the fun stuff.
If you don’t go home sandy, then it wasn’t a good beach day. And that applies to photo sessions too. I loved this sweet family that came out to Newport Beach this summer. We had fun getting sandy and little wet. It was on a super hot day, so no one minded.
I love these types of natural sessions, where everyone is just happy and enjoying the California sun!
I was thinking the other day about how important it is to believe in people and invest in them. Years ago, someone believed in me and bought me a sewing machine. At the time, I was making little girls dresses out of vintage linens and selling them online. I was getting by on an old junker of a sewing machine when someone from church told me they loved what I was doing and wanted to gift me a sewing machine that would make my job much easier.
Fast forward a few years and I had saved enough money to quit sewing and buy a professional camera, lenses, a Mac and everything else I needed to start this photography business. I feel like it was that initial investment that got my foot in the door. I learned how to run a business through those initial years.
Look around you and encourage those hard-workers in your life. Whether it’s an uplifting text, watching their kids for the afternoon or spending cash on them…believe in them. I’m so thankful someone believed in me.
//family photography taken in Balboa Island, Newport Beach
I’m sorry it’s been a while since I’ve posted. And I don’t want the blog to simply be a place for me to promote mini-sessions! But, time flies by and the next thing I know it’s been a week since I’ve been here. I was telling a friend last night about a smoothie she should try. She asked, “is the recipe on your blog?” Um, no. I have too much to share…so many good recipes, fall projects and of course hundreds of photo sessions. Now I just need to time to stop for an hour or two so I can blog it all! In the meantime, I wanted to share a newborn session that I did back in January. They wanted to keep the photos on the DL until they sent out their announcements, so I filed these away and kind of forgot about them. This is one of my favorite newborn sessions. I love the soft colors and just how sweet these big brothers are.
Which leads me to my next train of thought…older siblings. How do you prepare for a newborn session when you have older children?
First off, don’t stress. Your photographer should have ideas, plans and back-up ideas and plans! I assume that older children want to be involved. So, I’ll tell them I have an important job and play up the big muscles or how sweet they are with the baby. It really IS a big job. Newborns are squishy, but really heavy when you’re 2, 3 or 4 years old!
If an older sibling just isn’t into holding the baby, that’s OKAY. They’re going through a lot of big changes and sometimes holding a baby isn’t at the top of their to-do list that day. I try to put the baby into a static position, like in a basket on a bench or sleeping on a chair. Then I put all my attention on the older child. I’ll manipulate the situation so the older child is has is hand near the chair or standing next to it. Still a cute photo, but no one has to hold the baby. 🙂 Check out this example of a baby sleeping on a suitcase with her older siblings sitting next to it.
Lastly, don’t rule out bribes. Sometimes, it just takes a photographer 30 seconds to get a few amazing shots and if a child knows there’s a fun toy at the end, they’re game!
Being able to explore different parts of the country is amazing! There’s something about taking photos in an environment different than your own. After taking Baby Palmer’s newborn photos in Newport Beach last year, they moved to the Bay Area. Fast forward 9 months and I met up with Amanda and her family over Labor Day in the Henry Cowell Redwood Park while I was visiting the area. Her style is gorgeous and I loved the products of our combined efforts!
I guess Cooper was right! Today, I went to Anthropologie at Fashion Island to photograph the visual team modeling outfits as part of their spring inspiration.
Anthropologie has done it right. They hire teams of people to turn their stores into eye candy. The type that doesn’t let you get out of the store without something you MUST have. They have a cohesive theme amongst the stores, but each store you visit will be unique. It makes us consumers need to visit any Anthro we come across, because NO we haven’t seen it all.
Kelly told me someone wanted to literally take off this necklace and buy it. Me too!