For the past couple of weekends, I have been doing family sessions. There's a certain urgency at this time of year to get the images processed for the now-traditional photo Christmas card. Though I don't send Christmas cards myself, I prefer a custom photo format to the more conventional Christmas cards (where everyone tries to "personalize" with a generic handwritten sentence). I even read about a family who does a poster-size photo collage with captions in lieu of the "family newsletter" thing. The large poster print folds and fits in a regular-sized envelope, and stands out from the crowds.
Anyway, time to get off my little soapbox and put in a word about the two fantastic families I saw these past weekends. They both had three-year-olds, which is an age I love (though four is my absolute favorite for children). Both boys were friendly and charming and very very beautiful. I always spend the first 20 or 30 minutes of a family session just hanging out with the kids so they know that I am a nice person and interested in their trains, tool sets, and stuffed animals. The babysitter/teacher/future mommy in me comes out. But the thing about three year old boys is that they get tired of looking at the camera after about 20 minutes, so I had to learn how to improvise (since family sessions are more like 1-2 hours).
For Daniel, the best thing was that he loves to say "stinky cheese!" and we worked that angle for awhile, mixing it up with "yummy cheese" "purple cheese" and "stinky elbow." I love how you can act completely ridiculous with young kids and they love you for it. But as soon as the word "outside" was mentioned, he was a goner. All he wanted to do was go run and play instead of staying still for a camera.
Here's where I lost him:
And when you lose a three year old boy, you don't get him back until he has run and played and forgotten that you're there. Luckily I had been able to snap some really great images where the blue of his room brings out the blue in his eyes.
And of course his mom and dad were very easy to work with!