Sometimes photographing kids can be a challenge. And sometimes photographing your own child is the biggest challenge of all. This was the case with my most recent session with my daughter... although at 8 minutes long, I can hardly call it a session. Luckily, in the end we got some great shots to add to our family collection of seasonal photos. These images have a treasured spot on an easel in our front entry way and are rotated for display with every season.
I'm sure many of you have seen photos taken in sunflower fields and I myself have always wanted to do a session like this but found it is way more difficult than you might think. Not only do these amazing flowers have a short bloom time, the greatest problem is finding a field that allows the public (and photographers) to wander through these rows of sunlight on a stem. Most of these fields are private property and trespassing is strictly enforced (even though you may not see no trespassing signs). It's understandable because those gorgeous sunflowers are very fragile and damaging them is financially detrimental to these hard working farmers. With that in mind, this year my daughter and I decided to grow our own little sunflower field. While not a large field of flowers, we planted enough seeds in our raised garden early this year to yield some beautiful bouquets.
With the short bloom time and our crazy schedules I had very little time for a sunflower session with her. So late one afternoon I borrowed a dress from my studio that I use for princess sessions, cut some flowers for a bouquet and headed out to a small park about a mile from our house. With storm clouds rolling in (as well as a Girl Scout meeting to get to), we had a short opportunity to grab some photos. While my daughter is very used to being behind the camera, she is not always the most cooperative model despite the finished images everyone sees... and this session was a reminder. The pending storm made for hurried conditions. The wind forced us to do a quick hairstyle change. The sunlight was too bright for her despite the cloudy conditions. There were bugs, "pokey" grasses, a small snake (harmless and thankfully unnoticed by her), and of course "prickly" sunflower stems she was determined not to touch. Needless to say, things did not start well but I was determined and 8 minutes ended up being all I needed to grab a few shots I think are keepers. If you think your little one(s) are difficult to photograph, you are not alone. Just know it is worth the effort (and sometimes pain) to have photos of them that will last a lifetime.
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