We had some crazy Michigan weather during spring break this year. We opted for a staycation in order to take a longer vaca this summer. We had a week full of fun things to do around Dexter, Ann Arbor, and even a day trip Toledo. Unfortunately, the hail, the snow, and the rain, threw a wrench into some of our plans.
On one of the days we were stuck inside, I decided to attempt a photo shoot with the kids–backdrop and all. I do consider myself a portrait photographer, but I like to take a more relaxed playful approach during my child sessions. We tried this around Christmas-time and I failed miserably. I really prefer to shoot outdoors and in a more natural way while engaging the kids with play and simply capturing them being themselves. So, when I asked them if I could take some pictures I told them they could make super silly faces. My son was on-board immediately. He begged me to take his picture and could hardly wait to look at the back of my camera after each shot. My daughter, on the other hand, tends to be more serious and wasn’t sure how fun this would really be.
I set up the stand in front our sliding glass door. Even though it is a west facing window and it was towards the end of the day, it was cloudy; so we had nice soft, diffused light. I knew I wanted to convert the images to black and white so I selected a dark gray seamless paper. I tried to convince them to change their shirts, but they quickly nixed that idea and I wasn’t about to fight about a shirt.
Instead of asking them to “say cheese”, I told them to give me their silliest face. In this case, my son went first and had a great time cracking himself up. Once my daughter realized we were all laughing, she decided to join in the fun.
Now, my end goal was to capture a nice black and white image with a genuine smile. I would much rather let them be silly and wait for the real smiles than to instruct them to simply smile or to just “say cheese”. Afterall, aren’t the best photos the ones that really capture who they are? Sometimes, well most of the time, we have to earn those real smiles.
Here is a peek out our silly time together.
Oh and that “mustache” is just the stain from the orange frosting on my son’s cupcake. I tried to clean it off, but no go. Plus, my daughter insisted it added to the “silly face” theme we were going for. This is his cheese face, by the way. The last one–real smile. 🙂 Now, which one will I print to update our black and white wall display. 😉