I photographed this super cool family on a Sunday afternoon in Piedmont Park recently. It was a cloudy, wintry day--which was great because it made for some moody family photographs that I love! Stephanie and Casey met me at Piedmont Park near their home with their two boys and their dog Harry. When Stephanie told me they were thinking of bringing their dog to our session, I replied "YES!". I leave it up to each family, but as a dog owner I know it's important to include the furry members of the family too when possible. So Harry came along for our session, and we were able to include him in some shots, and tie him to a bench nearby for some other shots!
It was a fun session. We walked around the park, fed the ducks, and did lots of jumping. People have asked me before, "What is the most challenging age to photograph?"...and this is it. Sometime after Kindergarten through until around 4th grade, kids think they need to smile for every picture--and what's worse is they've learned the "say cheese" smile. So I spent a lot of time telling these guys not to smile, and I think we were able to actually have some fun.
My family sessions are all about having fun. I don't want perfectly behaved children smiling perfect (fake) smiles at the camera. I want belly laughs and sweet snuggles that you can almost feel when you see the photo. I try to guide my families into a situation that will naturally produce the outcome I want. But if a kid isn't into it, we move on. I don't want anyone frustrated during our session, because that isn't the memory I want to make. We'll try to get the "grandparents shot" where everyone is looking at the camera, and then we go wild, and let the beauty unfold. Your toddler doesn't want to be out of your arms? That's great! What better frame than you is there? Your tween is annoyed and stand off-ish...yep! So I will walk away from the family and talk with her, tell her she doesn't have to smile. We will get honestly beautiful images that you will cherish.
Chanda Williams is a family photographer in Atlanta, specializing in honest and emotive maternity, newborn and beyond. Since 2009 she has documented the beautifully wild story of families in the neighborhoods of Kirkwood, Candler Park, Lake Claire, Oakhurst, Decatur, Little 5 Points, Midtown, Virginia-Highlands, Inman Park, Old Fourth Ward, Morningside, Lenox Park, Brookhaven, Avondale, Druid Hills, Medlock Park and the Emory area.
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