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  • Writer's pictureKayla Widmeyer

To See the World Through a Child's Eyes...

is magical. To be able to slow down and see the wonder, and beauty, of the everyday things around us can be so refreshing. With my own kids getting older, almost 10 and almost 6, it's been awhile since I have been on a walk with a kiddo that stopped every minute to look at sticks, or ants, or flowers. And so, working with families with young children has been a change in mindset that I am totally embracing.

I had a last minute cancellation and Christina quickly reached out to grab the spot. Her daughter is about 18 months and her and her husband have another on the way, so they were looking for some updated photos before they became a family of four. In less than 48 hours, this busy Mama had her family photo ready. Look at how beautiful their coordinating outfits are. I was totally in love with the little lady's poncho!

I get nervous before photo shoots and one of the things that calms my nerves is to have a plan. Before each session, I write out a set list of poses I want to make sure to capture. While I have a base set of 5 poses I put families in, I use the questionnaire my clients fill out to take those poses one step further in a way that is unique to the personalities and ages of the family I am working with. And actually, I rarely refer to the plan during the session. First, because just the act of writing it down helps me remember it, but second, because I let the natural interactions of the families lead the way. I do what is called gentle posing, which means I will tell my families how to stand, and what to do with their hands, but then I will give my clients prompts that will create the natural interaction I love so much. Check out some of the interactive poses we used with Christina's family below.

One of the tricky things about kids this age is they want to run the show. They are learning so many new skills and that they are an independent entity, and they flex those muscles at every chance. And that means sometimes any kind of posing is a no-go. On the flip side, one of the best things about kiddos this age is that awe and wonder they have of the world around them. Letting them explore on their own terms can actually be one of the best ways to engage these kiddos and get natural smiles from them. When I was exploring spots for this shoot, I found some beautiful milkweed plants and noticed that they can be blown in the air! This was just the kind of activity we needed. We had milkweed fluttering in the air right at the beginning of the session and that was all I needed to win over this little lady. Well that, and a shared love of flamingos!

These years, the wonder and innocence in a child's eyes at this age, is something to be remembered and frozen in time. If you have kids who are growing up too fast and a long list of things you don't want to forget about them, reach out to me. I'll capture the natural beauty of your family, to be remembered for years to come.

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