How Kids Help Us Take Magical Family Pictures

I'm a firm believer that kids should lead the way and run wild during family photo shoots. I let them explore and guide our activities. This is partly because I want them to stay happy and not break into a screaming fit (which obviously makes my life behind the camera a little bit more challenging), and partly because children see the world in a magical way and I trust that they can lead me to magical photos. 

I recently photographed the Harris family at Meadowdale Park in Edmonds, WA. During the first half of the shoot, their little boy was very cooperative and smiled in whatever location I asked him to. I chose pretty locations and the resulting photos were pretty but slightly frustrating because they weren't turning out exactly how I wished. During the second half of the shoot, that same little boy started to get restless and was running away from the camera. He started demanding that he only wanted to stand in certain places. At first I was worried that this would limit the photos I could take (and remember I was already feeling a little flustered that I wasn't finding a background good enough for my standards). But then I reminded myself to always listen to what the kids are saying and 'give it a try'. So I knelt down and pointed my camera right at the spot he was insisted I photograph and BOOM...I was blown away. This was the most beautiful angle of the forest that I had seen all day. If I hadn't followed him, I would have missed it. I had his family pose in front of this tree and the green trees in the background were soft and blurry - the epitome of a Pacific Northwest Forest. Perfect!

Remember everybody, trust the children because their vision is not yet clouded! And as for you photographers out there, the reason that spot was so great was because the family was standing far away from the trees in the background (so they look blurry), rather than having trees right up close to their backs (which would make it possible for you to see all the close up details of branches = not so pretty). Happy magic hunting! // Chamonix

Photographer: Chamonix
Adventure: Forest Walk
LocationMeadowdale Park (Edmonds)