I hear it ALL of the time:
“my husband hates the idea of photos, will we still get any good ones?”
“our dog is nuts but we would love to get just one good shot with them”
“I put the kids down for a nap, I have no idea why they are throwing a fit”
I have all of the answers, pinky swear. Ready for them?
- almost nobody feels comfortable in front of a camera, including myself
- we have 4 dogs, they are bat shit crazy but we LOVE them
- everyone’s kids – forever – notoriously – act up on picture day
Wow that doesn’t sound good huh? The answer is all in how we react.
I always take mental note of these things even if you don’t tell me, especially the comfort level in front of a camera. As soon as we get together I let you know that I’m easy going. I talk with my clients like they are friends. We walk, talk, play, and adventure around different areas just like we were hanging out. Doesn’t sound so bad right?
My number one priority is that I show my client’s I’m a real human being, so I get you laughing. I prompt you to do goofy things, I let mamas + papa smurfs know that if you can do anything to make your child enjoy the day, then by all means go take a break to skip rocks with them, run around giving piggy back rides, and picking flowers. Even the off moments of unplanned activities can make beautiful photographs, they are little blips into real life, things we normally pass by without appreciating. When you look back at those images I snapped when you were just living life, I guarantee you’ll be so thankful you have them.
The best thing a parent can do on the day of a photoshoot is to loosen up. “Jenna, I just want one day and fabulous photos for the house”, I promise I hear you.
But when the kids are cranky – we can either dive deep into ways to get them to enjoy the mood, or embrace the wild ride with smiles on our faces. I have a secret that, even if kids are screaming and crying, as long and the parent looks happy I can make it work. It’s all about tone, patience, and being a little goofy for the kids..or nervous adults.
I love my job because in the blink of an eye a super upset child can start smiling ear to ear like no other. A husband that HATES getting his photo taken turns into the best + happiest person I’ve had on camera. A wild sprinting through the water puppy who’s jumping on me turns into one of my favorite faces I’ll remember forever.
Theres just a moment that brings everything together, we let go of expectations of how it should be going.. and make the best of whatever is really happening.
I show up ready to get my feet dirty, to be jumped on by muddy paws, possibly run through a pond to make a kid laugh, and ready to put myself out there for you because that’s real life. That’s what makes us as humans feel at home and gives me the opportunity to really get to know you. I don’t show up wanting you to sit, stare, and shoot me the perfect smile. HOW BORING would that be? Let’s capture the emotion, the laughs, the bloopers, the true life and save it as something magical to look back on in the future. I’m not here just to be your professional stuffy photographer, I’m here to be your friend rooting you on when things feel awkward. To reassure you that your “mess” of a day happens to all of us, and that we can still make this work (better than you could imagine).