I have a joke with one of my closest friends. It goes like this. Of all the things I’ve ever shot, of all the portraits I’ve ever taken, of all the weddings I’ve ever been a part of, I shall be forever known as Miss L’s personal photographer. That…my friends is what I may go down in history for.
Here is the back story. As you can see, little miss here is a princess quite obviously. When we set up this magical little tea party for her, I wasn’t sure what I was going to get. You see, Miss L and I have a long and turbulent history together. Now, don’t get me wrong. The child loves me, at least that’s what I tell myself as I lay down to sleep at night. But, we have a hit and miss photography session relationship. I have a lot of tricks when it comes to capturing children in portrait sessions. Kids never know what’s coming (my own children would tell you differently). I joke, I jump around, whatever it takes. But this child, it’s like she read my how-to-photograph children book and she’s always ready for me.
The morning of this session, we had pulled together these beautiful props. Our location, about 4o miles north of West Palm Beach, was gorgeous with this amazing light flowing through the trees. We are all set up, ready to go and I look over at Miss L and she has ‘that’ look on her face. You know what I’m talking about, when they are trying to decide whether they feel like cooperating that day or not. When you lift your camera to your family, announce ‘smile’ and the smallest child kind of tilts his head like, hmmmm, I’m not sure if I shall actually… that look.
It took all my years of professional photography not to panic. I’m telling you, I grabbed her hand and started talking about sticks and trees and mud and anything else I could think of BESIDES portrait photography! Thankfully, it worked after a while and she got in the groove. Eventually I asked her if she would like some tea and like any self respecting princess, she happily agreed. I loved watching her play with her stuffed animals, drinking her imaginary tea, playing, laughing and being a little girl. What a joy to be a little princess loved by everyone around her. Sigh.
Now back to my opening comments. Some of the teasers from this session went a bit all over the place on social media. Her family LOVES her and were kind of excited about the images we’d all created together and sharing them with friends. The humor filled part for me is that it seems, in my little corner of South Florida here, I am becoming rather well known as this little one’s personal photographer! The amount of comments, emails, and people who have said, “oh my goodness, you’re the one who did those pictures of L??” I laugh every time.
I told Miss L’s mama I have many images that I have made that I am extremely proud of. I have images that I’ve taken that were turning points for me in photography or defining moments in my style. I have images that I love because I remember the emotion or the moment behind them. The bride looking at her dad before she glances to her soon-to-be husband. Siblings playing together on the beach, or images of my own two little blessings that I will cherish forever. BUT these! I think I will always, always love these images. Because to be known as something, being known as Miss L’s personal photographer, seems like a high compliment, anytime. B Family, you are a blessing and a joy. We love you guys. Miss L, I’ll have tea with you any day.