In addition to creating portraits of children while participating in their favourite activities, I also like to capture them in a more sophisticated light, often wearing something of their choice that they are comfortable in. In this case this lovely young man choose this suit jacket, t-shirt and jeans which I thought was absolutely perfect. And I could see he was proud to be wearing it.
Putting a person, whether it is a child or adult, in something they are comfortable wearing is so important. If they don't feel comfortable it will show in their portraits. And that is the last thing we want.
I discovered this recently with my daughter when I tried her out in a new dress I had acquired for the studio and quickly realised I was wrong. I couldn't make her be someone she isn't. She isn't a pretty dress sort of girl and it really showed in her portraits. I've decided to scrap those ones now and get her to wear something she is comfortable in (likely to be a sweatshirt and jeans) and try again. This is who she is at this point in her life and this is what I should try to capture. I'll be interested to see how her second lot of portraits will compare to the dress images. I suspect they'll be loads better. I just have to figure out a way of getting her to agree to sitting for me once more.
It took us a bit to bring this young man out of his shell but this is something I pride myself in being able to do. The way I like to work means there are no time constraints. We work until we get the job done, not until some allotted session time is over. So I am more relaxed and I hope so are my clients. We were able to have a chat with him for a while until he was comfortable to begin. I know not everyone will be ready to perform for a camera straight away and it matters more to me that they are ready and comfortable otherwise I'm potentially just wasting my time. In almost all cases, including the children I meet doing school photography, I am able to convince them to work with me. Just sometimes it takes longer than others.
Once we got started though, everything went smoothly. We got the formal shots and then moved on to the football shots. He was very proud to wear his new football kit and had a lot of fun kicking the ball around which made the session a lot easier. In the end he did great and I know his family will love his portraits.
And again this makes a lovely keepsake for the family. I love looking back on my stepson's photos from when he was cute and little wearing his first Leicester kit. I'm sure in years to come this family will love looking back on these. Kids don't stay sweet and little for very long.