Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Babes + Photos

I mentioned last night on Instagram (@amanda_u_blog) that we got to have my niece Audri over the weekend while her parents celebrated their wedding anniversary. When they asked, D and I were not only flattered but also pretty excited since we don't get very much alone time with Audri, and before we moved out to the OC we always had nice quality time with her three older brothers because we used to live so close. Audri (Audrianna) was born the year after we moved out to Dana Point, and even though we see my brother and his family often, we don't get much alone time with Audri simply because of distance. Having both kids over the weekend was admittedly fairly exhausting, but also a ton of fun. Since Raj is our only, it is always fun to see how he behaves around other kids, and it was especially interesting and funny to see him respond to his big cousin playing in his 'space.' The two of them did wonderful together, as they usually do, and Audri was especially patient when her little cousin Raj would decide to do typical 'little brother' annoying things like destroy her set up toys... we are clearly still working on personal space with him. 

Before Audri left, I wanted to make sure to get some fun pictures of the two of them together. They had been making each other laugh so much and had been having fun all weekend, that by the third day together, I really wanted to capture their evolved and even closer than before dynamic. 

I also thought it would be fun to share the pictures here, and wanted to give you some of my personal tips and recommendations when taking pictures with little ones...

I seriously just adore Audri's smile, so much happiness in those big round eyes!

I love Rajan's level of comfort with his big cousin, he is usually quite the wiggle worm, so to see him so happy and relaxed sitting with her shows how much he loves and adores her. 

Let the fun begin...

When taking these pictures, it was important to me to really capture their natural dynamic with one another. These two really interact and play so well together and love making each other laugh. I didn't want too many 'posed' pictures because when it comes to working with kids, I think it is most important to keep these few tips in mind:

1. Let them be comfortable:
And by that, I mean clothing, shoes, and accessories. I get the importance of wearing fun and dressy clothes for certain types of photos, but just like adults, most kids aren't exactly thrilled to be in uncomfortable clothing and it will show. Keep their pieces moveable, light, and fun (and maybe even colorful, too).

2. Let their personality shine: 
I get the whole idea of wanting to nail that perfect smile, trust me, I have been there; but, what I find myself loving even more are those natural looks. Let their curiosity be captured through the lens... the wonder in their eyes and the genuine sweetness of their smile. 

3. Let them be kids: 
Sure, posing is pretty and maybe even needed for some photos, but if you really want to nail that natural and free spirited glow of a child, let them be little. Running, jumping, crawling, climbing... where they go, you and your camera follow. You never know where they will take you, but you are bound to really get some photos that show a true reflection of who they are, and isn't that really what we are all aiming to remember as they grow older anyways? 

4. Relax: 
If you are stressed, they can feel the pressure and will naturally respond negative to the negativity. Go in with a light heart, silly playfulness, and make the most of it... if you are playing along with them, they will feel that and play right back for that photo perfection.

5. Encourage their interaction (if there is more than one babe): 
Similar to remembering to capturing their natural personality, remember that if you are shooting siblings, friends, or families that the beauty of the relationship is how they interact with one another. Let them make each other laugh and be the best of partners in crime. Not only will it take a load off the parental clown trying so hard to make them both laugh, but as the kids grow up, they'll have these special memories to keep and look at when they're older, which will take them back to the fun they have always had together. What is more special than that?

I hope these few tips help you out. I understand that not all circumstances are the same, but the key is to remember that a photo can be what you make of it. Sometimes, I think the candids tend to hold just a little more of those fond memories, and also tend to be my own personal favorites every time.

Enjoy and celebrate your littles while they're little... we only have so much time.

With love,