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What you need to know before you take pictures of your little girl...

I decided to share with you some of my tips/advice on what is necessary to take good pictures of your little Miss Muffet (yes that is what I like to call Olivia). Believe me when I say it is not as easy as it looks.  I can honestly say that taking pictures of my little girl gets me a little anxious.  Ok, maybe more then that, but I still love to torture myself, and most importantly,  I love the outcome.  Here are some examples, of what I face every time I need to take pictures.
  • Olivia has a tendency to say "No" right away.
  • She also loves to flee as soon as I turn my back.
  • She whines about the heat coming from the curling iron, or me brushing her hair.
  • Her shoes are always too big, or too small.
Do you get the picture?  So now that I have spilled the beans about how each and every photo session  goes, just remember that we always walk away smiling and happy.   Each session has a different outcome, and I guess that is why I love to take pictures of my daughter.  It is a bonding moment for us, and a moment in time which I capture.  I always try to keep that thought in my head before I start taking pictures. So what is my advice?  Here you go
  1. Press your dress.  Make sure your dress is ready to go by giving it a good press.  Nothing is worse then seeing creases in a picture.  Let it hang and cool off before you put it on your child.  I would also recommend not putting the dress on until you reach the photographer's studio.
  2. Accessorize:  As Fancy Nancy would have you do, collect every accessory that you can find to match your dress.  Hair accessories, hats, jewelry, props, socks, shoes, pettiskirts, sweaters, jackets, shirts, blouses.  Lay it all out and play.  I am a true believer that sometimes "the look" is achieved just by adding one small accessory.  Not too much.  Otherwise, nobody is looking at your girl anymore, but all the bling in her hair.  IMG_0904
  3. Play:  Give it a trial run.  Dress up your little girl, and play with all kinds of accessories.  I love to mix styles.  A classic dress, with a fun pair of shoes or hair accessory.  Or a bright dress with a conservative pair of shoes.  Mix it up.7907107558_e887824b7e_o
  4. Color:  By now you know what colors look best on your little girl.  Always make sure they have a great color close to the face.  I know that Olivia looks great in bright colors.  I always try to dress her in pinks, oranges, aquas or reds.  Although I love to dress her up in Browns because of her hair color, I cannot have the brown too close to her face without something bright on her head.IMG_0621
  5. What is your goal?  I usually think about "the look" I am trying to achieve before I take pictures.  Fun? Classic? or sometimes both.  I usually have a specific goal in mind before I take pictures.  That does not necessarily mean it is my best option, or my only one, but it does make the process easier.  Are you taking pictures for a Christmas Card? Would you like a whimsical card? Retro? or maybe a classic card?  Work at achieving your goal and think about the details.
  6. Dealing with the rebellious ones:  Sometimes an explanation about family pictures is all that is needed to get your children to smile proudly at the camera.  Sometimes a time-out.  Every once and awhile I set up a slideshow on the computer .  Before I know it, the whole family is laughing and giggling at all the old pictures.  Afterwards, I always explain to the children that this is why I take my camera everywhere and set up so many photo shoots.  Without the camera, we would not remember how cute our dog was as a puppy, or how silly Daddy looks in the morning.  I also show Olivia pictures of lovely models that you can find on FACEBOOK or PINTEREST.  She is a very competitive little girl, so that usually helps to get her to loosen up.  I find a little motivation before the big day is always great.
  7. Let the photographer do the rest.   Many times the parents are busy fussing at the children or at the clothes during a photo session.  Relax.  Sometimes the best pictures are the ones you least expect.  Allow the children to feel comfortable and the rest will come naturally.  While my mom was here, we took pictures, and she was shocked at how Olivia knew just what to do.  I don't tell her how to pose.  I just take a deep breath, and wait.  She has a way of surprising me each and every time.  My favorite pictures are the ones in which she shows her personality over and over again.
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