3 rules

this one is for the photographers.
when most people see the (end result of an) image, the response most desired by the creator is that of enthusiasm. hopefully miss riley's parents will enjoy these. but it's the back story that makes it entertaining and all the more rich, in my book.
a couple of happy baby shots... 

seemingly easy enough, right?
not entirely.

rule #1: know your equipment and how to use it
rule #2: arrive with a plan
rule #3: be prepared to improvise at short notice

why do i mention these? because they can change everything.

for starters, i'd judged the lighting in this restaurant all wrong for the shoot. so i quickly made up a new 3 light set up. (first light: left of the baby, a large window facing the street. second light: speedlight set in the same area but pointing to the ceiling providing some bounced hair light. and light #3: another speedlight positioned at the baby's right, with grid and gel for seperation in the shadows. there otherwise would not have been enough light for clear images, even at a high iso. blah blah blah. so anyway.)

did i mention props? yes, of course i had a plan for that. last summer i commissioned beautiful raw silk pettiskirts from an amazing artist in sonoma county miss teapot  http://worldofmisst.blogspot.com/, purchased half a dozen balloons from canada, borrowed a vintage inspired party hat from another fantastic artist gina at tangerine http://tangerineshop.blogspot.com/, and brought a well-loved raggedy doll, an antique store find "just in case."


twice the balloon got away from the mama. twice the sous chef climbed a ladder in his apron armed with tongs to retrieve it from its lofty heights. ultimately, this is what little miss thought about the balloon...

the party hat was rejected with emphasis. and speed.
raggedy ann held her interest for only the fleetest of moments.
and the pettiskirt never made it out of the bag. i do like her raised hand here, and the angle we see her lovely head and hair. and cheeks.

when raggedy ann found herself languishing on the table, it was time to shift the direction. instead, we made ourselves useful by helping the daddy inventory wine (as well as blooms up the street at the local florist.)
citrus always makes yummy door stoppers
and sometimes you just have to get some fresh air and wave at the passersby.
then you can go back and try things from scratch. sometimes a new perspective is all that is required.
"how many in your party?"
light caught from another nearby window. contemplative is good. and a curled pinky finger? love.
a light snack can change a questionable mood into a giggly one.
visiting the candy store up the street will always brighten a day,

"helping" makes everyone feel important
celebrate when you've finished your session
and find comfort in the liberties taken with found props and impromptu locations, knowing mom and dad own the restaurants.
photographing toddlers can be an invigorating way to spend part of a day, if you remember the 3 rules. :) oh yes, and remember to laugh a lot, especially at yourself.