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Saturday, March 17

Meet Corey: 2012 Senior Session

"I don't know," he said pretty casually. I had asked Corey a few questions about himself, what he likes, and his plans after high school. And it was always that same answer. It wasn't that he didn't know, he just doesn't like to brag about himself. That's my theory, at least. So I'll do it for him, because taking his senior pictures last Saturday was such a pleasure.

Corey is a senior at Vinton County High School and will graduate this spring. He's got a great, casual attitude that instantly makes you relax and have fun around him. While most seniors get their pictures taken during the summer before or the fall of their senior year, Corey and I spent the day at Rising Park in Lancaster snapping some great pictures. Just talk to Corey for a few minutes and his amazing smile and nonchalant manner of speaking will make it obvious that not much phases him. Not even the thousands of screaming children we shared the park with on Saturday (I may be exaggerating). Corey was a great sport, always ready with a smile and his own impromptu poses. After a little more prying I found out that Corey has plans to go to lineman school after graduating high school and sorry ladies, he's taken. Big thanks to Corey and his mother, Missy, for hanging out with me last Saturday, it was a gorgeous day and I loved spending it capturing Corey in the end of his senior year.

Keep smiling!

Friday, March 9

Your Guide to the Cutest Baby Pictures

So yes, I've been AWOL the last few weeks. But finals week is next week so the end is in sight. In the spirit of my upcoming Spring break and the urge to go outside and play (no matter what your age), I wanted to hand out some tips about taking great pictures of your children.

1. Don't do it alone

Bring back-up, people! Children, especially babies, need someone or something to direct their attention where you want it. Yes, you can try to coach their eyes toward you verbally or with a shiny, new toy but while you're doing that you're missing some great shots. So make sure you have another person with you who can help wrangle those kids into a shot you want.

This adorable smile is all thanks to Jonas's mommy
who was a big help during the shoot.

2. Don't focus on poses

If you try to pose a child, you're wasting your time. Even if you can get them into the position you want, it will be obvious in the pictures that you coaxed them into it. Let them wiggle, run, or crawl around. Just keep up with them and never stop snapping pictures. Their natural movements, facial expressions, and poses will be 10x cuter than anything you could try to set-up

3. Get on their level

This is a general rule of photography- get on the level of your subject. You want to see the world how your child sees it. So be prepared to squat a lot and maybe even sprawl out on your stomach. The shots you get will totally be worth the grass stains and aching knees.

Laying down beside Miss Aleah got me this wonderful shot
and captured her gorgeous eyes.

4. Be on their time

I have seen a few pictures of crying babies that are beautiful. But they're a rare exception. In real life faces turn tomato red and tears and snot start flowing. I schedule my children's shoots for an hour, but rarely do the kids actually last that long. Play it by ear. If your child starts to get frustrated or fussy back off for 20 minutes and try again if it's appropriate. The great thing about kids is they're cute everyday- you can always try again.

5. Keep them busy

Most children are NOT camera shy. They strike a pose and scream "cheeeeeeeeeeese!" at the sight of a camera. Unfortunately, those pictures aren't the ones you want. So give them something to do. Give older children a craft, activity, or just make up a game to take their minds off the fact you have a camera. This also works for those children that are camera shy.

Giving Miss Melody these puzzle pieces got her to
relax and give me some great, candid expressions.
6. Get creative

If you're taking these pictures with a purpose in mind (greeting cards, calendars, or just wall art) you may want to dress the little one up more than usual. To me there is nothing cuter than an unexpected outfit on a child. Have son dress like just like daddy or put daughter in a pair of mommy's old heels. Give them props to go along with the outfit (maybe a briefcase or a long strand of pearls).

Looking for examples of outfits, props, or just great baby photos? Check out my "Kids and Babies" board on Pinterest. Don't forget to "like" my page on Facebook and follow me on Twitter to stay in the loop. Hopefully this will help at least one person out there. Feel free to leave a comment with your own tips or any questions.

Keep smiling!