“There is only one sun. We can’t all claim to only have one way to use the light, but we can REDEFINE how we choose to express it. “
Why are you passionate about this topic?
I love showing who my kids really are. I want to remember all those little emotions. The tiny little tears to the dramatic tantrums. Most importantly I want them to be able to look back on these images and remember those moments. I want to tell their story, and that includes all the chaos, and all the love.
When did you first learn this technique?
I knew I was drawn to emotive work but I didn’t realize that I was accomplishing it right away. My kids (mostly my daughter) can get upset when she sees my camera too much. You can see it in her face. I was starting to get images of my daughter looking miserable. Everyone would say how sad she looked, but those images stood out to me. I was drawn to them. I started to see more of who she is in my work. That’s when I realized how much I loved this style. I realized I don’t always need a smiling face or perfect eye contact, or spot on focus. I can capture so much more if I let go of the rules and be more creative with my kids personalities. Showing little glimpses of their souls while they’re still becoming who they are is a treasure to me. I still have so much more to learn and I am always looking for inspiration.
What are the tips you would share with anyone trying to achieve this technique or subject/topic?
1) Don’t be afraid to break the rules! I was so scared to break rules in the beginning. Find the rule you love to break the most and play with it. For e.g., If you like movement in your images. Play with your shutter speed and create some oof movement. Or, slightly underexpose an image to add some shadow and depth to an already emotional capture. I play in Lightroom with my shadows and exposure all the time for this. Rules are meant to be broken, play with them.
2) Embrace the mood! It’s ok if the kids aren’t happy and joyful all the time. Its not the reality of childhood. Don’t be afraid to embrace the mood they are in. Give them their teddy bear and capture them looking for comfort. Capture the dirt on their face or tiny hands. The twirl of their dress in the wind. Covering their ears when their baby sibling is crying. Those little moods (good or bad) will only be a memory one day. Capture them.
3) Keep your camera close! Lets face it. Emotion has no schedule. Most of the time, the best moments happen with no warning. There has been so many times I’ve said ” oh I wish I had my camera”. Just the other day I captured a moment between my daughter and her cat. When I look at that image I am so grateful that my camera was nearby.
4) Music! When I have a vision in mind (and creating something rather than documenting) I get my daughter to be my little model. We always put music on. So much emotion is drawn from music. When I want her twirling or dancing I put her music on. When I’m looking for a more melancholy feel, I will try and put my music on. Not because its always sad music, but because she usually doesn’t want to listen, and that helps bring out more of the emotion i’m looking for. We usually end things with her songs and dance and laugh so she’s happy again.
5) Include something of meaning! You can include anything in an image. A favourite toy or stuffed animal, a blanky or a piece of clothing. I’ve done her favourite stuffed animal and I did a session of my daughter wearing my wedding dress. My favourite is animals and pets. We spend a lot of time loving up animals and it just brings life to my daughter. She is such an animal lover. Its her passion. Everything from snails, birds to cats and horses. Whatever you include, if it brings a sense of meaning to your image and you capture it, then it’s priceless.
About the photographer:
I am a stay at home mom of 2, living in Southern Ontario, Canada. I want to tell my kids story in the most real and honest way I can. I am obsessed with creating beauty in everyday moments. When I’m not obsessing over my camera, I spend time with my husband and family hiking, bird watching and anything nature related. I hate winter.