These images in this blog post are a mix of film and digital. I photographed this funny and handsome eight year old dude and his mom last year and have been wanting to share some of the images from their session. I asked Rhonda if she could guest blog a post and she agreed. I thought might be fun for readers to see it how the day rolls and any random thoughts through a client’s perspective. I love that my client’s are able to put their faith in me and go along with my crazy ideas! Read on to see what this mom’s experience was like…
Two years ago, I was fortunate enough to meet Alpana of Storybox Art and after she took Nicholas’ photos at 6 ½ years I knew that I had found the person to document him all the way through his teen years and into young adulthood provided of course, that Alpana doesn’t have other plans for the next ten to twelve years and that Nicholas remains cooperative. Alpana has a gift for not only capturing his joyous smiles and silliness but also his other expressions and looks that are so meaningful to me – even the ones that sometimes drive me nuts. She has an incredible way of literally photographing one’s whole personality.
This particular set of photos was done precisely at 8 ½ years of age because I wanted to make sure I had photographs of Nicholas’ gappy smile and still-to-be-grown-into front teeth. I actually regret not having photos done at around 7 ½ years of age when his front teeth were missing but I’m thrilled that I will have these photos to remember this phase in which all of those teeth that we walked the floor over and cried copious tears of angst over as they were coming in eight years ago — are now falling out. I have a feeling that the next set of photos at age 10 or so will be even more telling in terms of the little man who is morphing into a not-so-little man.
Wondering what a photo session with Alpana is like? Here’s a summary of what to expect based on our recent experience. First, you’ll agree on a date, time and place. Pretty simple stuff. The day of the photo session you’ll race the kid home from school and quickly get him bathed and styled. He should still look like himself – just cleaner and with pants that don’t have holes in the knees. You will probably also want to skip cartoon graphic t-shirts and loud stripes or distracting colors. Alpana will give you advice on what to wear. Listen to her. She really knows this stuff.
And then Alpana will ring you up and casually drop a bomb: She would like YOU to be in the pictures, too. WHAT? Can I lose 20 lbs, get my hair done and find some anti-aging miracle crème that works in say, two hours? You try to say no. NO. GOD, NO! But Alpana just has this quiet determined way of getting what she wants. So, once you have yourself and the kiddo ready to go you head over to the “cool old house” that Alpana has been raving about and wants to use as the backdrop for the photos.
You’re imagining “cool old house” to be a quaint but abandoned gingerbread cottage with ivy growing amongst its eaves. You pull up and the kid says, “Where are we? This place is WEIRD!” You see the cool old (circa 1985), house that has been ravaged by vandals instead of ivy sitting up on a hill behind a chain link fence with most of its broken windows boarded up with plywood. “Surely this isn’t it?” you think but then there is Alpana pulling up right behind you with a big excited smile on her face. “Isn’t this place great?!” she exclaims. Weakly, you nod in agreement. “And the lighting is gorgeous at this time of day!” she says. And you have to agree – it’s approximately 5:30 p.m. on an early fall afternoon and the place, although creepy looking, is lit up in a beautiful, soft golden light.
You head up the hill after Alpana where she will spend a few minutes scouting out the best location and then it’s time to get to work. You’re told several times to please walk away and stand somewhere by yourself and out of your kid’s line of vision because the two of you cannot stop cracking up. You stand near the fence and see several people in the neighborhood walk by and look at you with raised eyebrows. You hope you’re not trespassing but before you can give it much more thought you realize the sun has nearly set and Alpana calls it a wrap.
You drive home chatting happily about how much fun you had and wasn’t that house weird and spooky? Then, a couple of weeks later, Alpana will send you an email with a link to your gallery of proofs. You’ll be excited and will open the link only to immediately tear up – it’s amazing –she’s captured his entire personality, his beautiful smile, his joy, his goofiness, his tentativeness and all of that growing up that you suspected was happening. You’ll also be thrilled that you finally gave in and had a few pictures taken with your kid. Alpana was absolutely right on that point. And what do you know? That “cool old house” really does look cool.