My name is Jamie Faulkner. I am a child/family/lifestyle photographer located in Southern IL. The small town is called Goreville. I started shooting in 2009. Went into business in 2010. I knew right off that I wanted to enter the child/family area. And I knew that I wanted to head towards the lifestyle area. That is where my passion is. Childhood is just plain awesome to me. I love love love witnessing it and most of all capturing it. I get asked a lot about my interaction with little ones during shooting. Kids are just plain cool and pretty dang smart, so I let them lead. Watching the innocence unfold from a child is breath taking. There is magic when a child is around. And I love capturing that.
Jamie’s favorite three tips for shooting little ones
Little ones are my absolute favorite subjects to photograph. I love their innocence, their joy, their laughter, and the pure magic that they see and feel. I am going to share my three tips for photographing little ones, and capturing their true personalities and unique little selves.
1. Watch them and let them lead you.
Spend some time just following them around. Watch (and photograph!) how they investigate the grass, the flowers, a stick…watch the magic come to life right before your eyes. Let them lead you. Be interested in what they are doing. Ask questions while you are watching. Engage them in conversation that they are interested in. I know it is instinct for the parent to step up from the background and say “ok, now listen to her…” or “now lets take some pretty pictures.” But for just a little bit, take some time to let them lead the shoot. Let them be “them”. This is where you can capture some of the real smiles/laughter and most importantly, let them see you as a friend rather than another adult telling them what to do. A little side note: I have found that the majority of the time, upon arriving to the session, little ones are more shy. They are more likely to sit still with mom and dad for that traditional family shot at the start of the session. So I always start with that and then when they are a tad more comfortable with me and their surroundings, let them explore.
2. Know their likes and favorite things.
I get educated about my young subjects the best I can prior to the session. I have mom fill out a questionnaire and on there I ask them to tell me about their child/children. Their likes, their favorite activities, any big events that recently happened (birthday, family vacation etc)….stuff like that. I prepare myself with all this knowledge and head to the session. By knowing some personal things about them, opens up room for conversation and it gets them liking you and much more willing to let you photograph them.
3. Let them take a break.
This is something I am sure you have heard before. But it works wonders. Really. I know parents can be worried that they are running out of time at the session, and I guess it really depends on how you shoot & how your sessions go, but allowing them to take a breather, have a drink, and have a snack if needed helps out so much. I only schedule one session per evening. I do not rush my session at all. Yes, I keep of the light and the time I have left, but if they need a break, they certainly get it with me. Now, I may totally set them up on a blanket with their snack or drink in the best area (light!) and sit with them and chat and slowly start snapping again. I ease my way into that. Most of the time, they just need some one on one interaction and break from the camera being in their face constantly. I give them the break they need while still staying close and maintaining the conversation with them.