Photographing teens and tweens seems like it would be really easy, right? Compared to toddlers who say ‘NO’ and run away from you or get shy, teens and tweens will stand still and do what you ask. Nothing to worry about, huh? Well I think that photographing teens and tweens is challenging in a good way. Sure, they’ll do what you ask and comply, but how do you pull out their real personality? How do you help them feel comfortable? How do you talk to them? What do they like and dislike?
When I’m photographing teens and tweens, I like to learn as much about them as possible. Sometimes I can find out a lot before the shoot, but sometimes I have to learn more about them during the shoot. The first thing I like to find out about them is if they like having their photos taken. Let’s face it, not everyone loves having their photos taken. (myself included) It’s one thing to take a few selfies and choose the best one, put a filter on it and post it to instagram. It’s a whole other thing to have someone else take your photo and trust the photographer to get flattering shots of you. That’s a lot of trust for a teen to have in an adult. My job is to put them at ease, gain their trust and help them along the way. My secret? Get the teen involved in the process. I share with them what I’m hoping to accomplish and I enlist their help and guidance on how best to get that result from them. We look together at the back of the camera and we work together to get the shots we want. I want them to be on my team and most importantly, I want them to love their photos. If I’m headed in one direction and they’re not feeling it, I am totally willing to work with them and move in a direction that makes them happy. Sometimes, it’s simply a matter of communication. I believe that discussing with kids what we’re trying to capture really helps them feel more confident during the shoot. And that confidence makes all the difference in photography!
So today’s photo is a result of getting to know a client (I happen to know this kiddo pretty well since he knows my son well) and I asked him to bring his skateboard. He totally rocked the session and this is one of my favorite shots from the session. This session is from 2011, and I can’t wait to get my camera on this kiddo again!