The opportunity to photograph children and families is always a welcomed one. The chance to photograph children and dogs together is fantastic! I was asked by one of my favorite clients to photograph her daughter, Chandra; two grandsons, Alex and Banks; and their dog, a chocolate poodle named Jack. The family was vacationing in Santa Fe and had asked me to photograph them while I was in town to teach my photo workshop. I was thrilled that our schedules coincided.
I've got to tell you about these two incredible children. Meet Alex, one of the most energetic 8-year-olds I've ever encourntered. This kid's got it all—wit, inventiveness, extreme curiosity, the gift of observance and as many random facts as you could shake a stick at. I could have gladly listened to him all day and he would have still had thoughts to share at sunset. The small detail in this scenario was that I need to create portraits of this wonderful child, and this usually requires a bit of "quiet time." After a great deal of entertaining conversation I reminded Alex that we needed to take some photographs. He politely inquired if I needed for him to "go get some tape for his mouth." I passed on the offer, but thanked him kindly as we both giggled. I have no doubt that we'll be hearing more from Alex in the future in one way or another.
Next I spent some time with Alex's younger brother, Banks. A gorgeous brown haired 6-year-old with a sweet sparkle in his eyes. Banks and I started out with some negotiations involving the removal of his skeleton imprinted flip flops. The sandals were cute but didn't seem to fit with the simplicity of his outfit. This negotiation sparked some serious giggling and play between the two of us. In the end I won the negations with an arm wrestling match. (I'm willing to try anything.) Banks was a great sport and his laugh was completely contagious both to myself and my assistant who was there to share in the whole experience. Banks starts kindergarten this year and I just know he'll take the classroom by storm.
The group portrait included the family's new dog, Jack. Jack was extremely well-behaved and had such a sweet demeanor. I love his dark, expressive brown eyes and his rich chocolate coat. Incorporating pets into family portraits is always a fun way to capture the whole family and allows everyone to relax a bit. Sometimes people find it hard to be in front of the camera but when pets are involved it can be easy to let the nerves go. (I think this is true of having pets in our lives in general). I'm thankful that I was able to create portraits of this wonderful family and to capture moments of these two boys both individually and with their family dog.
Norah Levine is an Austin children portrait photographer and pet photographer. She photographs in homes and on location. She also travels to Santa Fe, New Mexico frequently for sessions. Please view her website for more details www.norahlevinephotography.com