So your kids are growing up, they’re out of that cute baby/toddler stage (when you can literally point a camera at them at any given moment and it’s gold), and you’re wondering what’s next for your photography.
Naturally, as kids get older, we tend to put down our cameras or turn towards something else for inspiration.
My children are just shy of 16, almost 11, 8, and 7 years old. It wasn’t until just a couple years ago that I really started heavy into photography and was taking photos of them consistently. My daughter is the youngest (and I’ll admit, a bit of a diva and loves the camera), so the majority of my photos are of her. But she was already 5 when I really got started. So I missed out on capturing all the cute firsts and sweet innocence of toddlerhood. Sure I’d snap something here and there when they were tiny, but most of what I captured was posed portraits for other families. Not our real, everyday life. None of it was authentic.
As our children age, they get more awkward, they spend more time locked away in their rooms, chatting with friends, and don’t really want you to have a camera in their face 24/7. But I still want to capture this stage of my kids’ lives. I want to remember this age when they’re grown with families of their own.
So how do you do that and keep them into it? Keep them excited to be in photos? How can you continue taking new and interesting photos of tweens and teens who pose instead of showing true authentic moments when you point a camera at them?
In the end, just keep shooting. Sometimes I’ll look at the 500 photos I’ve taken of one little outing and be very underwhelmed with all of them, not seeing my vision come to life. But each and every one of those moments are photos I would not have taken had I not pushed myself to continue capturing my kids as they get older. We always make a photobook each year, and some of the best pages are filled with the beautifully imperfect images captured in the moment. I’m always thankful to have these to look back on, and so are the kids. As an artist, I am forever growing and learning and wanting to better my photography, and not giving up just because my kids are growing up has been such a huge part of my growth. Someday they won’t be in my home anymore, so I want to cherish every single moment I can while they’re still here.
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