UPDATE: This post was made as Shinn Shots Photography and does not represent the style or goals of Blue Space Photography. Because I believe in knowing where you’ve come from, I’ve left this here as a reminder of the journey that led me to where I am today. I now only shoot storytelling sessions, so be sure to check out my current work in more recent posts! – Lauren
You know those people that you meet and immediately click with and talk to for hours without even realizing it?
Heather wasn’t one of those people for me. But that just goes to show you that kindred spirits can sometimes be hard to recognize at first!
We met about 3 (or 4?) years ago and got along great, but our friendship never felt…easy…natural. And then about a year ago, things just fell into place. Now our monthly dinners have become a sort of necessary therapy with a very,very dear friend.
Based on our personality differences, we really shouldn’t even be friends. I’m free-spirited, creative, and often late. Heather is organized, structured, and always on top of things. But somehow, beyond those personality differences, there is a very deep connection that has grown with time. We’re both honest and open with ourselves and others, deep thinkers, and striving to be better women.
So when I needed some kiddos to be my test subjects in the Big White Box, I called Heather up (at the last minute, of course!) to see if she wanted to bring her kids over to play. I needed someone who could ignore and/or not judge my very messy garage, where the Big White Box is currently living. I also needed kids other than my own, because after getting my two into that box a couple times already, we were all tired of the mom-photographer I turn into. (I’m a lot less fun and free-wheeling as a mom!)
Heather decided it would be a good way to split up her Saturday and would give her kids something to do. She picked out some adorable outfits and brought her kids over for a photo session. I’ve realized that when I take pictures of kids who’ve never had a session with me before, I have to explain to them that I won’t be asking them to sit and smile…we’ll just be having fun. I loved what Audrey said to Heather afterwards – “I didn’t know I wouldn’t have to smile!” Of course, I managed to get plenty of smiles any way!
Audrey and my daughter are pretty much exact opposites. (Sound familiar?) When they first met, they got along ok, but there was also some tension between them. Abi is a force of nature and Audrey is a bit of a timid spirit. Sometimes they had trouble finding common ground (and I had trouble making sure Abi didn’t run right over Audrey). As the years have passed and the girls have grown and matured, I’ve watched the two of them build a wonderful relationship. Abi has become more sensitive and Audrey has come out of her shell. The last time we got together, the girls raced ahead of us down the trail pretending we were the slow turtles.
I knew Audrey would be good for me to practice on since she can be more reserved and I needed to try out some strategies for getting kids engaged with the box. Turns out, she’s a lot less reserved than she used to be! As soon as I told her I didn’t want “sit-n-smile” pictures, her eyes lit up and she was ready to have some fun.
Talk about a kindred spirit…I understand this sweet girl!
I‘ve known Audrey’s little brother, Luke, since before he was born. Heather and I were pregnant at the same time with our boys…Luke being born in February and Patrick in May. They have become good buddies and love playing together. Luke seems to take on a big brother role with Patrick, holding his hand and guiding him in play. Luke has a servant’s heart. He is always thinking of the people around him and what he can do to help. And he’s only two. Oh how I love my sweet Luke and what he means to Patrick.
This was my third practice round of shooting with the Big White Box. I love to learn and grow in all areas of life, and photography is no different. Not only am I excited about offering The Big White Box to clients, but I’m excited to stretch my creative and technical skills as well. I love the challenges it’s presenting for me…the way it’s making me think.
When it comes to working with the kids, I can’t use my same old tricks. Run at me and try to knock me down? Nope, that won’t work. Run up behind mom or dad to give them a big hug around the neck? Nope. I’ve also got to somehow get them engaged with the box…reaching, pressing, stretching. It’s been a long time since I’ve had to strategize this much for my sessions.
Not only are there challenges in getting the kids engaged, there’s also the technical challenge of working with the box. Lighting with minimal shadow…being the correct distance away to minimize distortion…using precise measurement to ensure that I’m shooting directly into the center of the box. Each time I practice I learn something new!
And this time I discovered another new issue with the box…narrowing down the pictures! It’s a struggle I’m familiar with from non-box sessions, but those sessions provide so many other ways to make decisions. Lighting…background…subject. Suddenly my decision is based entirely on the subject…and my subjects are so darn cute!
Heather, thanks for loaning me your kids for a couple hours so we could all have some fun!
If you’d like a chance to explore the Big White Box yourself, drop me a line to book a mini-session. Mini-sessions will be on September 6 in the Three Chimneys Farm neighborhood off of Windermere. Sessions are $125 and include 5 digital images. Hope you can come out and play!