Each year around this time I do portraits for a few playgroups locally. And each year I create portraits I just love to share. I'm not able to share many as I need permission and as I don't often meet the parents I have to send out some model release forms and wait to see who sends them back. I only ever share work once I receive permission to do so.
Its never easy doing these types of portrait sessions. While small children have a natural beauty that needs no enhancements we are dealing with limited time and small children who are often frightened of the situation. I am usually a stranger to them. And my big lights can be scary. But I have patience and for playgroups, unlike schools, I have a little more time to work with them so that I can usually, but not always, bring them out of their shell and get something I think is pretty incredible.
You might notice that not all the kids are smiling here. Thats because sometimes some children just won't smile for me. No matter what I do, they just won't give me that. But I don't mind. This is who they are at this time. Some children are very timid for other people. I don't see this as an unattractive quality. I think its absolutely beautiful and it is this sort of portrait that is going to be cherished in years to come. When this child is a boisterous, confident, talkative grown person it is going to be amazing to look back and see where they started.
I know my favourite school portrait of my brother was when he was 4 and immensely shy. But my whole family adored that picture more than any others. In fact, I can remember that photo in great detail much more than I can remember any of the others. So clearly, it had impact.
These children are really at such a lovely age. I love the cuteness factor each and every time I do these. Its highly rewarding for me when I can capture a connection like I have here. And I love knowing that these families will look back on these portraits for many years to come. Some day someone will be looking at these portraits and cherish them as I do my own which to me is pretty incredible.
I would have loved to share more from this year. I had so many favourites. It always makes me a little sad that I can't share more. But I'm still glad I get to share these. So thank you to the families that allowed me to share. I really do appreciate it.