I am so thrilled that more people are wanting portraits of their older children. Its quite common to have newborns and babies photographed but much less so with older children and I've never really understood why. A child reaching their teenage years is such a wonderful stage that goes equally as fast and is equally as special as the toddler stage. For me and my daughter it was the stage just prior to her becoming a young woman. It was the last time that she was my cute little girl and I'm thankful I have many photographs to remember this time. And as such, I think its a wonderful time to organise a portrait session to record this milestone in their lives.
I've been building up a collection of dresses that my clients are always welcome to use. When young girls visit my summerhouse and have a browse through the wardrobe they will always stumble across something that strikes their fancy. Some like the pretty pink dresses, some like the black lace dresses. But there is usually something they gravitate to straight away. And this gives me a good indication of what sort of person they are and an idea of the portrait I'd like to create.
This young lady was not a pink sort of girl but loved the black lace as well as some of her own clothes, which I always encourage. A combination of my clothes and the clients clothes I feel works best. And ideally something that can show the interests a child has in his or her life. For my daughter it was dance, for boys it is often sport, another child has come in with horse riding gear and for this young lady it was her gymnastics leotard.
As a mother myself, I love seeing portraits that will not only remind us of what our children look like at this time of their life, but also the activities they participate in. What made them smile? How did they enjoy spending their time? What makes them proud? I want to capture that so when they look back on their portraits they will remember not just what they looked like but also how they felt.
As an artist getting to work with people who can take direction is a fabulous thing. When I create portraits I am doing just that, creating. I am not snapping images. I want the chance to be able to refine elements of my images so that I can possibly create the perfect portrait. I want to do this not just for my client but for myself as well. With babies this can be difficult and in some cases impossible. But with a child who wants to be there its not only easier its also quite fun. I finish a shoot, sometimes a four hour one, not tired but often elated, on a high because I am thrilled at what I created.
This session was purchased as a Christmas gift for this young girl since they knew it was the sort of thing she would love to participate in. As a child I know I would have loved it too. The chance to dress up and have so much attention placed on me would have been exciting.
And now, as a mother the chance to have special portraits of my child is just so important. I am lucky that I do this for a living so I can have special portraits of my child whenever I want. But like everyone else, I still have to save up and allocate money when I want something printed and framed. Just the other week I updated one of my frames with a recent portrait of my daughter, and much to my delight I replaced one ballet portrait with another. Its something I have been and will continue to admire for years to come. And the old one is safely stored away for me to come back to whenever I want (its also in a family photo book that I look through frequently - if you haven't gathered already, printed images matter to me and are so much nicer to look at than digital files).
I requested that Mum joined in on this shoot as well. Its something I have been almost insisting on lately as I think portraits such as these will become immensely valuable as time goes on. For those not keen, which is most to be honest, I make it as painless as possible and we take about 20 minutes at the start of the shoot with the aim of creating only a handful of really special images for them to choose from. No one has been disappointed yet and I hope I get to hear from some of these families many years from now about how much this portrait means to them.
If this is something you've been meaning to do then why not get in touch to hear more? You are welcome to come and meet with me, see the studio, our products and our wardrobe. It costs nothing for this meeting and you might end up being very glad glad you came.
So as per usual, please get in touch if you'd like to hear more. Links to contact details are all below.