Building Trust | Barrington Family Photographer

February 01, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

"Photography is really about trust, and there aren't a lot of shortcuts to getting someone to trust you. You have to spend time with them." ~David Wittig

I found the above quote shortly after visiting the {J} family and I knew it fit the experience perfectly. Mom had contacted me to capture some updated family images since the arrival of their beautiful daughter. They also had a little boy whom she said in her email was the tough one to photograph and she would be ecstatic if we got any photos of him at all. Now I'm no stranger to shy toddlers or even independent ones that just don't like to take directions (i.e. my own 3 year old), but I could tell that Mom was not kidding. I spent the next few days knowing how I wanted to capture this family and as I drove over to their house on a crisp and very clear morning I knew exactly what I needed to do. I just needed to spend some time and earn his trust.

I pulled up to the house about 10 minutes early to set up and get my gear all pulled out. I met Dad and my tough subject first. I bent down so that we were eye to eye and introduced myself. He reminded me so much of own 3 year old. Very enthusiastic about his toys and not at all about sitting still. As I started sorting my equipment I could see him in my peripheral peaking from the perimeter of the room. It was about the time that I was examining the light, which was beyond beautiful, that all of a sudden I had a shadow behind me. I slowly sat down and opened my camera bag, Dad joined me and I invited him over to have a look. We pulled out all the fun lenses, the extra batteries, and then jackpot! he found my backdrop clamps in the side pocket! He loved those things! When Mom joined us he got a little shy again, but I quickly asked who the baby was and he got to introduce his new baby sister to me. 

We slowly inched our way into the session where he preferred standing off to the side and watching. Then I asked him if he wanted to take a photo...this gets them every time! He got the chance to be in charge. After that he hung back next to me and helped make Mom and Dad smile. Suddenly without an invitation he walked right up to Mom, sat down and said "cheese". I just about fell over- and I think Mom and Dad might have too if they weren't holding a newborn. We did it! We cracked this little guy's code. Along with the help of some fruit snacks for encouragement, he put in a good hours worth of smiles, hugs and kisses! He even helped get the baby to stop crying. What an awesome big brother!

The rest of the session was outstanding. Baby sister could not have been more perfect and like I said the light in their home was magnificent! I really must thank Mom and Dad for inviting me into their home and being incredibly patient with me and their son. Yes, the session was a little longer than some, but the point is...time doesn't matter that much, because for me it's about the bonds that I get to create while I'm there. Kids will tell you exactly what they think and how they feel about everything! Their honesty will flat out astound you. That's why to win the trust of a child is the single best compliment I could ever receive. 

Congratulations to this beautiful family! Welcome little girl!

 


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