Studio Time w/ My Luvs
This little series of family portraits stemmed from me wanting a simple, in-home studio setting with very directional, dramatic light. I wanted minimal clothing, so the texture and highlights of our skin would shine through. I also wanted a tousled, wet hair look ( I used baby oil to achieve this. Be forewarned: it will take multiple washes to get the baby oil out;).
I took these in the master bedroom of our lake home just outside of Calgary. I used one of our floor lamps as a light source, and set my camera up on a tripod. Since I couldn’t find my hand held shutter release I had to use the self timer on my camera - which means I was running and jumping in and out of each shot, hoping that I looked calm, cool and collected in the photos lol.
Axel thought the whole thing was a pretty grand and exciting time. He laughed at me running back and forth from behind the camera, chased me, climbed all over Mike and I, moved the light around, jumped up and down on the chaise…basically typical 2 year old behavior :)). I love capturing all his active, curious moments. It’s a beautiful memory of his personality as a toddler.
TIPS for shooting with a toddler:
GO WITH THE FLOW - Toddlers are notorious movers and shakers and sometimes trouble makers ;). Don’t expect them to sit perfectly and smile right at the camera. Instead, move organically with them. You will naturally fall into “poses” and giggles that come across authentic on camera.
DISTRACTION - This could be something as simple as bubbles that you pull out of your pocket when little one starts to get bored or fussy. You can also be doing an activity that you incorporate into the shoot. e.g. coloring together, sipping hot chocolate, dancing to little one’s favorite song, playing superheros.
BE SILLY - Get your silly pants on parents. Don’t be afraid to be loony. If you want your kid to smile, laugh, and feel comfortable in front of the camera you need to be willing to let your hair down a little too. I will sing songs, put stuffed animals on my head, dance, and even bark or make other wonderful animal noises to get Axel’s attention and smiles out. It’s totally worth it, and makes shooting way more fun.
My makeup highlighter - this stuff is liquid gold.
Axel’s shorties - sold out, but I find them on Etsy. Just search toddler shorties :)