Maine Portrait Photographer:: Mother Daughter {Playground} Session

Here’s what I like about kids: that uninhibited thing they have to show what they are feeling and thinking in the moment. It’s very honest, sometimes funny,  sometimes challenging. But it’s one of those things I love about photographing families, because you never know what’s going to happen or how things might unfold. Or what side a young person is going to show from one minute to the next.

I got to hang out with Sorcha and Lisa this Fall, on a farm, with some ridiculous light (I geeked out several times during our shoot). In the course of an hour I saw so many sides of Sorcha, but what I remember most is how energetic and fun and, at times, free-spirited she is. Ideas and thoughts flow from her freely, as do random facts about things like why we shouldn’t be feeding ducks bread. I look at the images from that day and they never fail to make me smile.

And that is partly because I think we really captured who she is right now.


The light was great, the colors even better. Her sweatshirt very HER. Her energy seemed endless (though I’m sure she finds time to sleep). She somehow turned the tables on me somewhat when she realized I had a camera and was willing to let her direct parts of the shoot. We plotted and made series of shots that always included her jumping or climbing or getting some serious air. Then we would gather, look them over together, laugh, and get ready for the next series by mixing it up a little.

I think she might have a future in film making:)

It was fun! And her mom was a good sport while we plotted without her really knowing what was about to happen to her…

This smile. I would not have gotten this had we been posing and sitting up straight for an hour. Or even for 10 minutes.

For me, the less structured people can be on photo shoots, the better. This might not work when it’s a much bigger group, but with a small group (or just two people), being up for letting things come together as the may, is a great way to get more genuine feeling and capture who you are. This shoot also proved to me the photographer does not always need to be in charge. Letting go of some control can be beneficial — this goes for photographer and subjects!

It was refreshing to be on a shoot and not hear “So, what do you want us to do?” because what I always want is for people to be themselves and enjoy who they are with! But, cameras sometimes make us all feel like we need to start to act, or line up a certain way, or behave in ways maybe we normally don’t. We forget that maybe the shots we are going to love most will be the ones when we forget about the camera and just BE.

Kids are often good at that.


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