Meeting a new family is always exhilarating and always keeps me on my toes. As a photographer, I go into each session confident with expectations on lighting, posing and the technicalities of my camera. But meeting new families creates an ever-changing environment in which to work.
I get excited to learn – if the family has children – the kids’ names and ages. Before shooting the King family’s session, I discovered their daughter, Dolan, was almost exactly the same age as my daughter.
Oh, this should be a piece of cake, I thought. Relating to Dolan will be exactly the same as relating to my daughter. Dolan will offer smiles galore at the mention of puppies and chocolate, just like my daughter.
But, in the world of photography and families it doesn’t quite work that way. Each child is so very different, and each child performs differently in front of the camera. Some choose not to perform at all.
Dolan led us all through the park, as if she knew the way, as if she had been there many times. Dolan’s favorite game was throwing sticks and rocks in the river to watch them make a big splash. Dolan loved finding structures to climb – rocks and steps and bridges. We held hands on the walk back to our cars.