Like Herding Cats But Way More Fun | Spring Hill TN Family Photographer
I’ve known the Bell family for probably 7 years now. I met Tonja when I joined the MOMS Club of Spring Hill. I’ve always admired her amazing ability to parent four fabulous kids while keeping a sense of humor and wearing amazing shoes. She writes a very entertaining blog if you are interested, and you can follow her on Facebook. I highly recommend it. She's hilarious.
For several years now, Tonja has been making comments about how “one day” she wants me to photograph her family. For a while, she seemed to think it couldn’t be done. Four kids is a lot. I’ve done it before, but to be honest, it can be scary. It’s mainly the group shots that are tough. Especially if they are little. So I would just say if you have four children (or more) under six or so, you can totally have beautiful, amazing family photos. Just don’t expect to have a beautifully posed shot with everyone smiling sweetly at the camera. It’s all about expectations. And patience. And full disclosure - photoshop head swaps.
So she finally contacted me a while back (maybe back in December) and said she was ready. I was stoked. At last…I’m shooting the Bell children. Why would I be so excited? Well because I love a challenge. But mostly because these kids are absolutely what I love about photography and I knew they would be epic. My passion is capturing kids for who they are….to document their personalities. And these kids have personalities! Four very distinct personalities. I love my photographs to show excitement, movement, emotion, realness and a carefree spirit. The Bell kids have it all.
Tonja wanted me to title my blog post “Herding Cats”. I’ll give her that…it is definitely like herding cats and if I were her, I’d been tired all the time. But it is so much more fun that herding cats! These kids did not disappoint me. I’m just in love with this session. I also want to apologize for the huge number of photos I'm sharing in this blog "preview". I have a problem. There were just too many to choose from and I couldn't do it. I need an intervention.
If I had one complaint about the session (and there is only one), it’s that I’m not sure Tonja read the instructions. I blame myself because I accidentally forgot to send her the portrait guide until right before the session so maybe she didn’t read it. But also, I realize now that I specifically said “toddlers" in this portion of my guide, so I guess I need to change it to make clear that this policy applies to children of all ages. In my portrait guide it says:
"If they want to hold a stick, let them. A picture of a toddler holding a stick and being happy is generally more appealing than a picture of a toddler throwing a tantrum (but photos of tantrums can be beautiful too). If you really hate the stick, maybe I can Photoshop it away for you, but no promises. It's just a stick. Keep in mind that I take hundreds of photos, and even if it doesn't seem like your child is cooperating, chances are I will get a few good ones. No stressing."
So you will see a few sticks in the photos below. But it’s not because of Tonja’s lack of trying to get the kids to put the sticks down. And just to be clear, I’m not picking on Tonja. Every single mother ever at a portrait session has argued with a child about the sticks…which is how it ended up in my portrait guide. So I’m just wanting to go on record here as saying that I have nothing against the sticks. But now I’m wondering if maybe I’m the problem. So I need to hear your opinions….sticks or no sticks? Is this truly a fight worth fighting and I’m wrong? Or should I maintain my quest for stick acceptance? What do you think? Comment below.
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