Exploring a “Child Led” Approach to Family Photography

Family

I tend to think of my photography business as my “baby” so it makes sense that I choose the same approach in my photography that I do in my parenting. The most important thing I learned early on in my parenting journey is to follow your child’s lead. Does that mean that my children get away with everything? No. I also know the importance of boundaries. What it means for me is taking the perspective of an observer with my children because they have an innate capability of knowing what they are and are not ready for. My son is extremely slow-to-warm and thoughtful. Most of the children we surround ourselves with are pretty outgoing and are excited to play with other kids. It took me a long time to realize that just wasn’t my kid. He likes to do things at his own speed and in his own way. I spun my wheels for a while trying to get him to conform into what I thought childhood should look like but since I have taken the observer’s perspective and encouraged him to do what feels right to him, we are both happier. 

I take this same approach to my photography sessions. I absolutely love to capture the realness of life. When toddlers run off in the grass, I follow them. When your sweet newborn is cuddled on Mama and sleeps peacefully, I get right in there. Because I follow this approach, I do not take overly posed photos. If you are looking for the sweet newborn photos where the baby is bundled and put into adorable hats and props, that is not my style. You’ll notice that my sessions are filled with beautiful authentic moments of families interacting with one another. Those are the moments that I want my clients to look back on for years to come. That being said, I certainly have some tricks up my sleeve to get the participation of your toddlers including tickle fights, sibling/parent hugs and kisses, running shots, smelling flowers, etc. I really try to make it fun and silly to get even the crankiest members of the family on board. 

The Stratton Family 

I have known this sweet family for a very long time and have had the privilege of watching them go from a couple to a family of four. You can see the love they have for one another from a mile away. It is so easy to photograph them with my style because their love is so authentic and they are not afraid to get silly with each other. I worked with this mama helping her style the family. The green dress was a must to pop with her gorgeous red hair and all the other outfits were based around her outfit. We settled on a mid-week golden hour session in a quaint little park in Bedford, New Hampshire. We played, danced, raced, climbed on the bridge, and made silly jokes. These are the moments this family will want to remember in 20 years from now and it was such an honor to get to capture those precious memories for them. 

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Images by Kathleen Jablonski Photography | Design by Jessica Gingrich