Saying portrait photographers love to shoot photos of adorable children is only a huge understatement. And every parent knows how beautiful their own children are. But as a parent, we really want everyone else to see that beauty the way we do. So we take photographs. Sadly though, we too often get them ready for those photos by yelling "say cheese", or some other obnoxious, yet perfectly acceptable parent thing to do. And the result is that we frequently get images that may be our kids looking happy ( or faking like they are happy), and we lose the essence that we see in them as a parent.
One of the things I have noticed over my years and years of working as a photographer, is that many times, we forget to take photos of our children as they are when they are being serious, or even just normal. It seems as though our desire to be happy, has lead us to thinking that we can trick ourselves into remembering how happy we were, by constantly smiling in every photograph we take.
But as people, as human beings, we are all so much more than just giddy with happiness. We have dreams, aspirations, hopes, desires, deep thoughts, fears, and cares. Many of these things are present in our lives as we go about our days, and are ne'er accompanied by a big-toothed grin. Did you ever look through National Geographic, or countless other magazines, and see someone who you identified with. Someone that may have aspired you to be something, or do something? What are the chances that person wasn't smiling ear-to-ear? I'd bet they are pretty good chances.
I am by no means advocating to not smile. We should most definitely look for laughter, and have fun, and smile about the things we have, at the accomplishments we have made, the friends and family we enjoy, and the general miracle of the lives we have been given. And we should capture those feeling in our images. But lets not lose sight that we are more than just that laughter. We have an inner need to succeed, to love, to be loved, and to thrive.
I love that Killian is able to think about things that are not "silly" and to be contemplative enough to pull off a serious look. And he does it very well. And thats the thing. I think we all do. It may just be about having the right person to coax it out of you while you are in front of the camera.
I can't thank this amazing little six year old (he's only 6!) enough for being able to take direction, have fun, live loud and laugh a lot. We had a great time and can't wait to see these beautiful portraits hanging on the wall.