Guest Blog Post by, Addison Hagarty 

Never underestimate the power of blowing bubbles, but always be prepared for the unpredictable! Having only dipped my toes into the world of family photography, I can’t believe how helpful a few small items can be when it comes to capturing the sweet smiles of a child!  I’m excited to share with you my go-to methods of how to capture real smiles when photographing children.  (photo by Addison Hagarty)

Since every child is different, I have found that a variety of things work when it comes to capturing attention and getting some laughs!  Anything from jumping up and down, making silly faces, blowing some bubbles, or giving a child a simple task.  One of my biggest tips would be to get to know the child behind your camera!  Bring lots of options of things to work with, and don’t be afraid to get creative if the colorful beach ball doesn’t do the job.  For example, as Kate and I neared the end of a beautiful 1-year-old session on a warm July morning, I ended up balancing a kitchen plate on Kate’s head and making silly faces to illicit some laughs!

Every kiddo reacts differently to being placed in front of a camera, and it is the job of the photographer to adjust and adapt to a shy toddler, a sleepy infant, or a rambunctious little one.   I had the pleasure of photographing a beautiful five-year-old mermaid back in late July!  She started off a little reserved, but after complimenting her splashing tail and peppy pig tails she began to loosen up!  Asking mom to blow some bubbles her way really sealed the deal, the giggles were out and I saw my cue to capture some gorgeous playful moments.  The images of moments in between yawns, laughs, or even cries are often some of the most beautiful snapshots to hang on your wall and keep close to your heart.(photos by Addison Hagarty)

Attention spans will vary, naps will be missed, and the promise of lunch will always be looming.  The key to capturing the true personality behind a child lies in getting down to their level.  When a little one feels as though they are among friends, the giggles come out and they let loose.  Sometimes the trouble lies in reigning that energy back in, but there is something to be said for the pound of little feet filled with excitement for the day ahead.(photo by Addison Hagarty)

I definitely still have lots to learn when it comes to working with children, but I am a firm believer in the thought that practice makes progress!  Until then, I’ll be packing my bubbles, catching up on the latest Disney flicks, and perfecting the art of peek-a-boo.

Addison interned with Kate Cherry and learned about running a photography business from the ground up.  To learn more about Addison and view more of her work, check out this article all about her.