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Brooklyn ~ Senior

Isn’t she just beautiful?  Brooklyn had some great plans for her senior session.  Glitter, homecoming dress, and what’s a central Oklahoma country girl’s senior portrait session with out an old sheet metal barn and boots?
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I’m so excited to share the rest of your images with you, Brooklyn!
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Preschools and Patience

I have been photographing preschools for MANY years now.  They are actually one of my most favorite events to photograph.  Children in general {whether a family session or preschool} produce a wide array of emotions. Many children can give you 10 different emotions in 5 minute’s time…Sweet Girl here has been at this same Mother’s Day Out preschool for a couple of years now.  Which means I have seen her twice a year for 3 years now.  Now I know 6 times in your 4 years of age is pretty minuscule, but many students do remember me from the fall to spring portrait sessions.I did receive permission from her parents to share this story.   I don’t want to toot my own horn or brag by any means. I only share this to show you that I truly care about your child.  I will also share the fact that there have been several  children through the years that give me blank stares. *I am apparently not hilarious to these few*  And nothing I say or do can convince them otherwise.  But this little girl was different…. the potential for smiles was there.  I could tell. I had seen them in years past. I just had to find them.IMG_1904Sweet Ms Sophie came in with her class, just like all the other classes and each student was photographed individually as well as their class group picture.  Sophie was very shy in front of my camera and very reluctant to come over in the first place.I remembered that she didn’t smile for me at all the first year I had met her. She stared straight down at the floor, and only looked up at me when I asked if she had a pet at home and her teacher told me about her dog.  The second year, I remembered her giving me half a grin when I asked about the baby I saw her Mommy was going to have as I saw her get dropped off that morning.  (The following spring she smiled a little more when I asked how much she liked being a big sister)….So, I knew she was going to be harder than some of the other kids to give a genuine happy, un-cheese-ball smile.

This Spring, she shyly stood in her little spot and would only mumble responses to any of my happy questions.
I noticed after several minutes that her shyness had turned very timid.  Her class soon left to go back to their room and a new class came in and waited.  I set down my camera and went over to talk with her for a few more minutes to see if I could pinpoint her happy button and I noticed she almost had tears in her eyes.  I simply asked “Are you okay?”  Which prompted this conversation:
“I’m scared”
“oh, I am so sorry, Sophie. Are you scared of me or scared of my camera?”
“I’m scared of pictures.”

We talked a little more and I told her I wasn’t going to make her stand here and smile if she didn’t want to and she was welcome to go back to her class if she wanted to.  And she did.  The last thing I want is for a child to have an unhappy experience with any photographer. I find joy in documenting the joy in your life… not forcing grins that never really existed.

I finished the rest of the students in the preschool and before packing up my things made my rounds to each of the classes to double check we had photographed everyone.  I went in to her class and chatted with her teacher as the students finished their lunches and Sophie was laughing and giggling and talkative with all her classmates!  So I joined in and she and I laughed and talked for a few minutes together with her classmates.  I made the comment that her eyes were so sparkly when she smiled! Just like my sparkly backdrop where we did the pictures!271_2000  She didn’t remember the backdrop and wanted to see!  So she and I skipped down the hallway together to go see how her eyes sparkled on my backdrop!  (Yes! I really did skip with her as we held hands on our way to the other room!)
She stood in front of my set and I snapped a quick picture with her big smile and then showed her the back of my camera.  The catch-lights from the flash in the corner of her eyes gave a nice little sparkle which lit up her world and we took several more images.

Sophie needed two things 1) no audience… I really think that was her main concern in the beginning… everyone was watching her; and 2) compassion with patience.

I have been told by many mothers lately during newborn s273_2004essions that they are just in awe of how patient I am as I snuggle and speak softly to their fussy babies as I get them to sleep.
There really is not much difference between a baby,  toddler or preschooler when it comes to new things.  Sitting/standing in front of a camera and big lights is new.  Most kids under the age of 6 will not walk right up and smile unless they trust you (and how often do you trust a complete stranger in the first minute you’ve said hello?)

Patience and Compassion along with friendliness are the best combo for getting little ones to grin.  And lucky for me, these 3 things are my cup of tea.

Children's Portrait

Kamryn is 5!

I think I would do just about anything for this family. Spunky, entertaining Kamryn has been joining me for annual portraits her whole life.  She has an energy which just overflows to the people around her.  I’m excited to spend many more years with her and her big sister!