Family Portraits in Aquinnah 9 1
Randi Baird

Randi Baird

Photographing Kids ~ Leave the Cheese Home

Kids Portraits:

Photographing kids can be a real adventure! They’re busy, they’re squirmy, they’re fast, sometimes they’re cranky, but guess what? Comparatively, all of that stuff is a total piece of cake.

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The real challenge? The cheeeeeeeeeese.

Never have I photographed a child who didn’t do exactly one of two things when I first pulled out my camera. 1. Put on their “camera face”—you know, the one that Mom has programmed into their psyche since infancy, or 2. immediately ran in the opposite direction.

I have exactly one rigid, non-negotiable rule for myself as a photographer: I don’t shoot fake smiles. Period. I want to photograph what’s real, authentic, alive. Not only is approaching sessions from this space a million times more satisfying for me, but it completely enhances my subject’s experience as well.

Given a choice, I’d take the latter, any.day.of.the.week. I want you to “just be you“!

I am looking to capture your families authentic connections. Leave the perfect hair and clothes at home. I would much prefer to see you just as you are—beautiful! Show up in your favorite jeans and tousled hair, your child with a lolipop-stained mouth from the ride in the car. Relax. Have fun. Be real. Be alive. Be in love, and loving each other. Perfectly imperfect.

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Here are a few tips I use when photographing kids.

1: REMOVE THE “CHEESE” from your vocabulary. If you’re looking to create real, timeless images, avoid that word like a swimming pool during a thunderstorm.

2: CHILL AND BE PLAYFUL: Just relax. Kids respond authentically to normalcy. Have Fun, play a game, run around, have a pig pile on top of Dad. The possibilities are endless.

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3: DISENGAGE MOM and DAD: Mom + Dad – I have your back – relax!

4: LET THEM GO: Instead of trying to contain children to a specific backdrop, allow them to explore. Remember, your subject doesn’t have to be looking directly at the camera in order for you image to tell a powerfully authentic story.

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5: BE YOURSELF: The best thing you can do to create beautiful art with a child is simply relax and be yourself. That’s what I am after with your kids;  A play date.