Tuesday, August 18

Tuesday Tip 8.18

This week's tip is not really a tip, but more of an observation.
Yesterday, my husband and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary. So, I thought this post was fitting.

It seems like the longer a marriage "survives" these days, the more it is penalized. It is either made fun of for being routine & boring or ended by either spouse for the same reason because something or someone else is more exciting. Day to day routines are not the death of a marriage. They are a part of life regardless of your marital status, so relegating them to a marital punchline is just silly. It is how we connect, react and communicate with each other that makes a marriage or any relationship for that matter. In the following, Sandy Broyard puts into words yet another reason to value, cherish and respect marriages that are not shiny and new. Married couples are not jealous of newlyweds; just excited at the adventure that lays before them. A long marriage is not worse for the wear;
just better at short hand.

"In the dim twilight, I often see pairs of Canadian geese on the grass near the parking lot. A large reservoir on the other side of a busy road draws them to this suburban area. Today there are three couples. One of the females is eating grass, and her mate is a few feet away, keeping a vigil, on the lookout for any danger. I watched their interaction. It is minimal in its movements but intense in its awareness, one of the other. When one makes an adjustment, the other notices and immediately makes a compensatory shift. To an insensitive eye, these changes in direction of the body and head might seem random, but I know differently. This is a couple mated for life, and I had mated for life and had known and experienced as one does when one knows that the marriage is for life that the shifts and gestures need only be small. The intimacy of the relationship becomes this fine essence, a distillation of the earlier passion, but just as powerful.
In the marriage that endures, there is no need for grandiosity."
Excerpted from Standby by Sandy Broyard, 2005

Now for photography!
How do you get kids to smile? Mine won't even look at me when I take their picture.

First, a smile is not my singular goal during a session. True, I do love smiles, but I also want other expressions.
No matter the type of session, I aim for a combination of everything that makes a person unique.
So, go into it knowing that you get what you get. Or more accurately, what they give you.

Second, to get that myriad of expressions, you have to connect with your subject.
The easiest way to do this is (1) be yourself and (2) talk!

(1) If you are goofy, go for it. If you are pensive, bring them in. If you like practical jokes, pretend to fall down. The point is both kids and adults will know when you are being sincere and they will relax and be themselves, too.

Which brings me to (2) - get them talking. Ask questions and listen to the answers. Also ask silly questions.
You'll get some curious looks, some belly laughs and lots in between!

This was after I had asked her about six times if her name was Susie. You can just see the "No, silly."
After a few more silly questions . . .
Good to note:
If your child is tired, hungry or just plain not into it, stop and try again later. Nothing will turn a kid away from the camera faster than an insistent parent asking for "just one more" for the tenth time. Trust me. I've done it.

Happy shooting! Leave questions in the comments or email me!