Wes is One! | Minneapolis On Location Baby Portraits

On Location Baby Portraits

Little Wes turned one year old just prior to this portrait session at the Lyndale Lake Peace (Rock) Garden near Lake Harriet.  Wes was joined by parents Nadia and Nick (I first met this family in 2013 after doing portraits with their first furbaby Otis). Grandma who was visiting from out of town for Wes' birthday and party came along too.

Wes started out a little serious and unsure about me (and probably that big weird camera I kept holding in front of my face!), so when solo shots weren't his favorite, we began with some family portraits to ease into the process.  With little ones, I'll try something and if it doesn't work, we quickly try something else, and something else after that, then maybe go back to that first thing... not being emotionally tied to any specific outcome.  Sometimes parents and I make silly noises, sing songs, ask the kiddo lots of questions ("Are you soooo big?  How old are you?  What do puppies say?"), talk about favorite people/characters/ice cream flavors, etc. - anything to pique interest and elicit smiles.

The best action plan is so individual to your child's preferences and personality.  Sometimes moving around works best.  I suggest a little bouncing up and down, or tickles, or flying like an airplane, or hanging upside down, or sitting up on shoulders, or holding hands and walking/swinging/jumping, and usually all of the above.  That swinging, as well as little tosses into the air, worked for Wes.  And having a grapes snack break (the Talent needs snacks, people!) . What reeeallly did the trick, though, was Nadia holding Wes tight and doing fast tiny jumps one way and then fast tiny jumps the other way - in heels, no less!  Talk about shaking the sillies out!  He LOVED it, and that particular move wasn't in my arsenal of suggestions - way to go, Mom! :)  See the results in the last image of Nadia and Wes.

This first set of two images below is an example of a posing tip I love.  I'll unceremoniously call it the "toss-toss-pose" tactic.  Perhaps self-explanatory, but...  If your little one is giggling while tossed in the air but not as keen to "look at the camera and smile," then you do both in quick succession: you toss (*giggle) then toss again (*giggle) then quick-quickly bringing the little one's face to yours with your smiling face turned towards at me (*residual giggle).  Sometimes we have to try it a few times to get it, but the little one wins more tosses and your arms get a fun little workout. ;)

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