Earlier I was texting with a client about sessions, etc… and she had complimented me on my work & I responded with “I enjoy it when people love their photos. Even though most are shocked that they do.”
That’s kind of a weird statement. But it’s true. SO many clients after their sessions say, “I didn’t know I would love them as much as I do,” or “I can’t believe they turned out so well.” Are these small digs at my talent? Maybe, but most of them mean, “I was there. I saw my children. I saw my family. When did they look like this for a photo?” I hear so often before shoots, “I hope my children will cooperate,” or during the session the mother is apologizing repeatedly for their children. I can tell as it ends, they have the look of exhaustion on their face as they think (and sometimes say) “If there’s one good one, I am happy.”
It’s not that they doubt my ability. They had seen my work & decided they liked it enough to allow me to do a session with their family (or you have seen the photographer’s work you chose). It’s that they saw chaos at the session, they saw crying, tantrums, children running in all directions, breaking out the bribes (and often even the bribes fail), etc… so to that mom or those parents, even though they heard the camera “click” often, they leave thinking there is no way those photos turned out. Then they get the email or notification their photos are ready. They peer at the computer screen with one eye open praying for one good photo…………usually a short time after that is when I & other photographers get the messages or comments of amazement. The favorite photo tends to be completely non posed, spur of the moment, often when they didn’t even know the camera was going. When the oldest is clinging to moms leg, the youngest is upside down (as that’s the only way they would smile) & the parents are laughing because at this point they didn’t know what else to do about the situation…..that photo turns out amazing.
I am a mom. I get it. I cannot do a shot with my own kids if I have a small amount of time. (I have to know that there’s a backup plan in place in case my girls are not cooperative) They frustrate me. For some reason, other people’s kids don’t. The best photos I have is when I am talking to the family or couple while I shoot. They laugh naturally, talk amongst themselves, the mom lays her head on her husbands shoulder for a moment, or the baby offers mom a HUGE smile that fills moms’ heart. The toddler, who refuses to smile, laughs after barking like a dog. Crazy, spur of the moment, real life moments. So, relax. Enjoy the experience. Trust that your photographer will capture the best of your family. The best moments, that part that shows your family, true family at that exact point in your life. A photo (or photos) you can always look back on and know it’s true to you, your family, your life, right then.