Monday, 16 March 2009

What does WC Fields know ...........

W.C. Fields once – famously – said “Never work with animals or children”. But he was an actor and actors are often upstaged by children; kids tend to be more relaxed, more energetic and less likely to conform to the ‘artistic’ direction of the photographer or the sympathetic cajoling of the parents. On the upside, though, is the fact that photographing families in general – and kids in particular – is just great fun.

Woe betide the photographer who takes it all a bit too seriously; the children will NOT think too highly of his creative direction, nor are they likely to be much impressed by his attempts to ‘place’ them in the picture. I’ve found that the best way to deal with kids is just to let them do their own thing: they’re not going to sit still for long, so I try to make an art out of catching them on the move. Then again, I’m not a great advocate of families all sitting together and watching the birdie with a nice smile on their faces, I much prefer to see kids laughing – mostly at their own antics as they try their utmost to confound both photographer and parents.

This family fitted the bill perfectly: the eldest youngster was all over the studio and no amount of persuasion would get her to sit still for the camera. So we just allowed her to do her own thing until, eventually, she must have felt she was missing out on all the picture taking activity and got involved again. It was a fantastic shoot which I – and I hope the family – enjoyed. They were certainly delighted with the finished pictures.

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