So, here I am in London at a photo studio, trying to make a good sentence out of the words: photographer, studio, children, perfect, photos, 7, minutes. That`s how much I had to take 5 perfect snaps.
One might say a great photo of a child in a studio is all about photography skills and how fast one can set-up the lights and camera. Now, why do I doubt that?
Because I think there`s more to it that meets the eye, literally. In the same time, I found myself having to talk to children using their language and to get their curiosity and interest but to keep the distance and authority so that they would listen to me.
So I did, or at least I thought I did, in just 5 steps.
Step 1: prepare the camera, lights, tripod.
Step 2: talk to the children
Step 3: if step 2 isn`t working, try the usual funny noises or, the gugu-gaga language.
Step 4: if they aren`t interested in your monkey-like attitude, use your tickling tool provided by the studio.
Step 5: snap the photo before they know what shutter speed hit them.
But besides the funny part, sometimes, just sometimes, all the steps are wrong and the children aren`t smiling. That`s when the interesting thing comes up and that`s what made me think about the differences between family portraits and photography.
For those 6 weeks when I worked in that studio, I sometimes thought a good photo wasn`t necessary the one where the child smiled and was all bubbly, but rather the one where he/she and the mother/father connected and communicated in a way only parents can understand.
When that happened, I had the feeling that I am lucky to be there and felt honoured that I was the one who would capture that moment in photography. And so I did, for all of the 20-30 clients/day.
Now, I don`t really know if this experience made me a better photographer or a better person, having had meditated on the subject parent-children, but I know for sure that the photos are talking by themselves.