They encourage their kids to be themselves
Jill and Natty have four kids ages 6 and under. Although their life must be crazy at times, they have a pretty laid back parenting style. They encourage their kids to be themselves and want them to always know how much they are loved. They like to give them the freedom to play and explore as much as possible within set boundaries and house rules.
It was a rainy summer day in Edmonton. When I entered the house, the older kids were sitting quietly in their play area. They welcomed me and quickly adapted to my presence. Many children are excited when I follow them around with my camera. It’s like they get to be in the spotlight and turn into little stars for a few hours! After a while, the novelty wears out and they become themselves again, forgetting about the camera. That’s why it’s a good idea to plan for a longer session if you want photos of authentic moments with your children.
That morning, it started with a bang! Jill had warned me ahead of time that their kids liked to climb on everything. The youngest one, 13 months old, likes to wriggle out of his high chair and climb onto the table. The bigger ones climb on the counters and window sills. Their parents had to implement a “feet on the floor” rule, and it obviously doesn’t get followed! It drives them crazy, but they know they will inevitably smile at that phase later in life.
It feels good to be home
The family spends a lot of time at home, so this is where we stayed for most of their session. They had breakfast, played a few games, worked on some puzzles, read books and practiced their singing. The rain eventually slowed down and they decided to go to the playground—something they like to do almost daily in the summer. The older kids grabbed their bikes and off we went!
At lunch time, the kids helped with the preparation of the delicious homemade mac n’ cheese and decided to give us a loud concert with metal bowls and utensils. Oh the noise!
Later on, the littlest one went for a nap while his brothers and sister jumped on the trampoline and played on the zip line. How cool is that? Natty is an engineer and a handyman, so he came up with a safe way to entertain his kids in their own backyard. No wonder they spend a lot of time at home!
What they thought of the photo session
This was another great half day in the life photo session. The family was very friendly and the kids and I really got along. Their mom told me I had something special because they were not usually that comfortable with people they don’t know. Could it also be because of the camera effect I described earlier?
At some point during the session, she asked me if there was anything they should do that would make good photos. I told her we already had great ones and to just keep on being themselves! She thought it was fun to do their regular activities and not have to plan for the session.
A few weeks later, when she saw the photos at the viewing and ordering appointment, she told me she was so glad they had not planned anything special for the session. She was really happy to have great photos of their daily routine, so representative of this stage of their life.
I’m so glad I did a session with Marie-Pierre. I had only done family photos in the past where we all dressed up, posed, and smiled for the camera. This documentary style photo shoot was very relaxed, easy, and my kids didn’t feel any pressure to act a certain way—they were just able to be themselves! The pictures are absolutely beautiful and they captured my family in such a candid and real way. I’ll treasure them forever. I highly recommend Marie-Pierre’s service and talent to anyone wondering about booking.
Encourage your kids to be themselves with photography
If you’ve gone through the pages of my website, you might be familiar with the reasons to have a documentary family photography session. One of them is that it’s a great way to show your children you value them for who they are. You’re not asking them to pose or get dressed differently than they normally would for photos. You don’t have to bribe them to look at the camera or do things they don’t really feel like doing. There is no direction from the photographer. They get to play, explore and do what they love to do in an environment that is familiar to them. It’s the easiest and most relaxed photo session for them! They are free to be silly if that’s how they feel, they can cry, be frustrated, happy, or lovey. As you can see, there is no better photo session to truly encourage your kids to be themselves! And if you want to reinforce that feeling even more, have your photos printed and display them on your walls. That will truly confirm you love them just as they are, without any props or cute outfits!
How else do you encourage your kids to be themselves?
I'm Marie-Pierre, an easygoing mother of two and a documentary family photographer. I believe we can all learn and grow from other people's experiences. Real life stories help us relate to each other, open our minds and feel better about ourselves.
this blog is a collection of featured client stories, tips, and articles on various family related topics. I hope you will find some inspiration!