Why I Love … Photographing Kids

This post is by Rachel Devine of Sesame Ellis photography.

I’m a professional photographer who works with kids, and I have three of my own that I photograph frequently. So I’ve taken a lot of shots of kids over the years.

Yet one photo in particular has hung framed on a wall in every home I have lived in since 1997. It is an image I took on the same day that we had our professional family portrait taken.


My niece and nephew (Image copyright Rachel Devine)

I did not have my camera out while the hired photographer was working, but later that night I wanted to take a few shots of my niece and nephew.

The littlest member of our big family, my niece, always seemed to take center stage, so I decided to capture an image of her standing on the coffee table just before she was told to get down. As my flash lit up the scene, it revealed her older brother in the background, haphazardly standing on his head on the couch.

To some, his crazy disruption could be seen as ruining the shot, but this is what has made the shot so memorable and special. Even in black and white, I can tell that they are in the ‘sweater and pants combination’ we as a family wore on that important portrait day.

When I look back at our professional portrait, my nephew Ian sits quietly for the camera and Kellan’s ever present pile of stuffed animal security objects are nowhere to be seen.

However, when I look up at the photograph I took that day, I can clearly remember the children that they really were and I can see the beginnings of the adults they have since grown to be.

Child photography is more than tack sharp eyes and big smiles; it is made of memories and true personality. Children change daily. As a mother, I know those mornings when the children have grown and changed overnight. And I’m glad I can use photography to capture those moments.

Do you have some great photographs of the kids in your life? Tell us about them in the comments.

Rachel Devine owns Sesame Ellis photography and shoots commercially in the children’s industry—as well as photographing her own three kids on a daily basis. Her ebook Click! How to Take Gorgeous Photos of Your Kids was recently released on Digital Photography School, and her book on photographing life will be released on Amphoto/Random House in 2012.

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