Just like adults, kids get anxious before their photos. I wonder how I would have been if I was five and my mom brought me to a studio for photos. Probably I would have clung to her leg just like this little guy did with his mom and dad. Then as a mom, I completely empathize with the parents on how stressed and worried they feel as not only do they want to capture their son and how cute he is, but also feel bad that it’s not going well. I’ve been photographing this little dude for 5 years now and he sort of knows me so I felt bad too that he was a little scared. This is how it almost always is when photographing children. Yes sometimes kids come in ready to play, but it’s not unusual for kids to need some time to get comfortable. This is why I block an hour for kids’ sessions, and then usually leave a buffer in-between appointments too just in case. I tried a lot of tricks to get him to laugh and sat with him with mom and dad and then after some time I finally won him over with our swings in the studio. Just like magic we were then just hanging out. I try to just ask a lot of questions with kids, like “what’s your favorite color?” “Batman or Superman?” are simple distractions and conversations so I can just hang out and try and get natural expressions. I try so hard to avoid saying things like “say cheese” because I really love the soul of kids. Did that sound cheesy? You know what mean. My favorite part of my job is getting to know people and kids are people too. I was glowing after this session and even called my mom to tell her how I felt like I really did my job that day. This job is so emotional but that feeling of “I did it” is remarkable. I also want to say that this mom and dad are incredible. They are so sweet and caring and put a lot of trust in me which I am grateful for. They even snuck away and hid around the corner once this little guy was comfortable. Sometimes that can really help and I wish I got a picture of them when I peeked around the corner to give them the thumbs up. They were so cute together smiling and having that look of relief. Looking through these photos I can’t believe how grown up this little guy is. He’s a really cool kid.