Rachel really wanted some nice portraits of her daughter, Ava, for her third birthday. She had spent a lot of her early milestones is pandemic lockdowns and so naturally she was shy around strangers. Of course, it’s normal for kids to be shy around a photographer with a big camera anyway. A lot of the time kids don’t even know what the camera is. To many of them, a “camera” is a phone. And a camera like photographers use may as well be some big scary medical machine. The pandemic just made it all the more challenging.
It took us a little while, but Ava warmed up to the situation once we started to play and explore together and she got to feel like part of the team. Ava was very excited to play in the water at Jonas Green Park, so we saved that for the end. By the time we got there, she was so excited and wasn’t worried about me or the camera any more at all.
A big part of photographing small children, under almost any circumstances, is not just putting the spotlight on them. After all, almost anyone might feel intimidated and uncomfortable under those conditions. Instead, it’s about collaborating, and developing a rapport — a friendship, even.