I remember when I first started my photog business and clients wanted to bring their kids to the playground for pictures; I DREADED it. I was afraid it wasn’t pretty–the clunky equipment would take away. I couldn’t get the kids to sit still and was fearful the parents would want the nice ‘posed’ photos they had in their mind. But, it became a challenge. And certainly but hesitantly I embraced the idea of playground pictures. Now? I LOVE THEM. In fact, I often suggest locations that I know have playgrounds for families with young children as an added “bonus” and (truth be told) bribe for the end of the session!
Here’s why. Kids love playgrounds. It is their element, their space, it’s what they do. Asking a child to ‘sit here/stand there/SMILE/give mom a hug/SMILE!’ for an hour is like asking an adult to read a baby’s board book to themselves for an hour–dreadful. While it is definitely possible, and we WILL get good photos in any situation, personally I LOVE capturing a child’s spirit doing what kids do. Playing. There is no photo more genuine than the smile of a child mastering the balance beam or monkey bars, or a little one swinging on a swing.
Their spirit shines. Their eyes sparkle. And their essence prevails.
The only thing more satisfying than leaving a good playground session for me is actually looking back over the photos we captured and seeing this very thing captured in time for years and time to come. ‘Fer real ya’ll.