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  1. #1
    sly
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    The reluctant child model

    Yesterday I arrived at a client's house for a family shoot; new baby, Mom, Dad, and small boy. It was obvious from the conversation going on while I unpacked that there had been a lot of pleading for co-operation (maybe even some bribery) going on before I came on the scene. I re-assured the parents that, if necessary, we'd do baby shots only this session, and plan another, no extra charge. Usually those reluctant child models are more willing on a second attempt. That calmed the parents down. The boy continued to insist he was much too busy playing to take part. So the first couple of rolls are baby alone, baby with one or both parents. The last two rolls contain boy wrassling with Dad, boy kidnapping Princess Mom with plastic sword, and also 4 family members, close and smiling, that never would have been possible if boy had been coerced into sitting between his parents with the baby on his lap. We didn't get any of boy holding baby, but we all ended up having fun, and I don't think a second session will be asked for. Provided, of course, that I don't make some idiotic mistake developing this afternoon.

  2. #2
    zsas's Avatar
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    As a parent (and a parent of a five year old boy no less) I would much rather candid shots of him in his element than the sterile "say cheese" shots! I assure you they will be outstanding and the parents will love the comfortable enviornment you created than a forced smile session.
    Andy

  3. #3
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    Ten years of packing mules in the wilderness taught me something about how to raise my triplet boys -- and seems to apply in this case.

    There is no way I, at 220 pounds of a bunch muscle (those were the days!), could force a 1200 pound mule to do anything it did not want to do. It was a matter of getting the mule to believe that what I wanted him/her to do was also what the mule wanted to do...and to perhaps adapt what I wanted to do to with what the mule(s) wanted to do.

    Good luck in the processing, the results and with the family!

    Vaughn
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  4. #4
    Katie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zsas View Post
    As a parent (and a parent of a five year old boy no less) I would much rather candid shots of him in his element than the sterile "say cheese" shots! I assure you they will be outstanding and the parents will love the comfortable enviornment you created than a forced smile session.
    ME TOO!

  5. #5

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    Yup, some kids are easier to work with than others. Patience is a virtue, as you indicate!

  6. #6

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    I'm 51 and I never had kids, though I did shoot portraits of them / weddings with kids as brdesmaids / page boys many years ago. I know I missed out big time on the parenting thing but there are occasions when I see an unruly child and a parent that has no idea how to control them or discipline them that I know I made the right decision for me. I admire good parents immensely - but I don't believe I would have been one.....
    Paul Jenkin (a late developer...)

  7. #7

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    Paul, don't let age stop you. One of my Uncles didn't start his family until he was in his 60's. Now that he has two teenagers he claims his maturity and age, combined with a bit of senility, has made it a very pleasant and rewarding experience. My uncle often said that he was unsuited to be a good parent too. Suggestion: "child bride"... meaning, marry a younger woman (if you are not already committed).

  8. #8
    David Lyga's Avatar
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    When you are queer, you usually do not have kids, so my exposition is second-hand. But, let me tell you without equivocation, that I was never permitted to 'act up' at that age. Sorry, but the truth is the truth: quiet, unremitting discipline is sorely lacking in our 'me' culture. Perhaps, less of Dr Spock and more of Dr Spank. - David Lyga

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Lyga View Post
    When you are queer, you usually do not have kids, so my exposition is second-hand. But, let me tell you without equivocation, that I was never permitted to 'act up' at that age. Sorry, but the truth is the truth: quiet, unremitting discipline is sorely lacking in our 'me' culture. Perhaps, less of Dr Spock and more of Dr Spank. - David Lyga
    Right, give the kid a good spanking before a photo shoot, that'll be a great way to get lots of smiles. (not)

    I find in general, if you let the child have some say in what is happening, then you will get far more cooperation, and I tend to get more cooperation when the parents are in the other room. We know what the parents want... we know what the photographer wants, but we rarely listen to the kids. Let them look through the camera, let them pick a roll of film to shoot, explain what you are doing. Just listen to him, let them show you their room, their favorite toys. I had one shoot this last fall where we had them roasting marshmallows at the end of the shoot, and I got some great pix, then. Frankly, we should have had it going the whole time... kids were far more relaxed. Just a few ideas. And it sounds like your shoot went well, Sly!!

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Lyga View Post
    But, let me tell you without equivocation, that I was never permitted to 'act up' at that age.
    I once thought that... until I said it in front of my parents.

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