Monday, December 13, 2010

Things Not to Say on Photoshoots...

This month has been a whirlwind of photography sessions.  8 photo shoots plus 1 wedding to edit = total craziness.  I haven't exactly been thinking clearly, either.  Here are some things I have found NOT to say on photo shoots:

This family was so much fun; they told me up front that they wanted to climb in trees, roll down hills, and run together :)  Loved it!  At the end, after they had been smiling for over a half an hour and energy was going down, we needed one last family photo for the Christmas cards.  Not thinking, I asked the teenage boy to share "something funny that your dad does."  He smirked and said, "Um...I have something!" and proceeded to tell THE most embarrassing story about his dad.  I won't even repeat it here, but it involved sounds and bodily functions.  He went ON and ON and ON and I felt so bad for his poor dad!  I did not know the family personally, and we were all cracking up laughing.  I hid behind my lens and did not peek out until he was done :)  I just replied, "Don't worry, I have 2 boys myself..." not explaining they are only 3 and 5 and haven't discovered yet how to embarrass their father. (Oh, but they have discovered how to embarrass their mother - on Saturday in front of friends, Micah gave me a hug and then said, "Mommy, you smell like farts!")  Anyway, at the beginning of the story, they were posed like this:

During the story, they kept moving closer and closer.

At the end, when they were all laughing so hard, they all moved in closer and put their arms around each other, and this was the last shot.


Yesterday I was on another shoot with a family, where I found myself repeatedly saying "Oh, that's so cute!" after I took their picture.  I apologized that I sounded as though I were talking to little kids, but then I kept saying it!

Then when I went to get this photo, I overheard myself say, "Can you sit criss-cross-apple-sauce?"  Um, WHAT?!  This poor grown man.

At this photo shoot of a dentist office, the atmosphere was very reserved and quiet.  I wanted to get them talking, so I asked, "So, how many patients do you guys have?"  Hmmm...apparently that was not a good question to ask.  They looked at each other and then the dentist asked, "What do you mean?  Per week?  Per month?"  Well, I didn't know what I meant.  I was just making small talk :)  At least their picture came out cute.  I mean, good.

The most special photo shoot I did - ever - also happened last month.  Alyssa, age 6, is blind and was diagnosed with cancer at age 2.  Her best friend is named Trinity, and I am friends with Trinity's mother Shannin.  Shannin asked if I would do a photo shoot of these two girls before Alyssa had surgery to remove 45% of her brain.  I did the shoot on Sunday, and her surgery was on Tuesday.  Alyssa had a seizure on her way to the photo shoot, but you would have never known it by the time she arrived.  These two girls played tea party together and told funny stories, and it was the most precious thing I have ever seen.  When I met Alyssa, she did not want me to take her picture at first. But after I let her feel my camera, she was all smiles.  (Alyssa has the red hair)

When the girls play together, they hold hands since that is the way that Alyssa "sees."  It was beautiful.

Alyssa is still in the hospital, fighting infections, but recovering more and more each day. If you'd like to join her Facebook fan page to receive updates as to how she is doing and see current photos of her progress, you can visit this link.  She is a special, special girl.  I left that photoshoot in tears and felt touched by her smile and her joy, despite what she was facing.

And this is Alyssa's baby sister, who was so adorable with her "O" face! :)

I hope you've learned what NOT to say if you are a photographer.  I have learned that I am probably best behind the desk (editing) vs. behind the camera :)   I am now officially finished with shoots for the next month, and so excited to be done and celebrate Christmas!


  1. Congrats on finishing up (I'm almost there!) and thanks for a great post! Lovely images!