As an editorial photographer, it’s sometimes hard to keep the wraps on photos from a shoot. I did this shoot last fall for Healthcare and You magazine. The story is about the Lourie Center in Rockville is helping a young man improve emotionally. I fell in love with this family instantly. The child and his adoptive mom are so wonderful and loving. The best editorial shoots are where you fall a little bit in love with who or what you are shooting.
Kids can be a handful to shoot under the best circumstances. I try to come in prepared. I discussed the approach to the shoot ahead of time with my assistant. I find it works best to be flexible. I’m glad I am able to work fast if necessary, as kids don’t have the longest attention spans. There was one tense moment on the shoot where our star decided he wanted to see the iPad I was using. He then wanted to start using the iPad to take photos, and really didn’t want to give it up! This could have ended very badly, but I found a hat the kid really liked and decided to wear it. (Unfortunately, no one got any photos of me in the hat!) What it did was give me a bargaining chip, so I could trade for my iPad without the subject feeling like he didn’t get anything. He stayed happy and the shoot moved along.
My editorial style is showing who people are, where they are. I love interiors and settings, and like letting this help tell the tale I am trying to tell. This shoot didn’t have a huge production to it. We could have styled the family room with perfectly organized books, or sourced a quality rope swing, but that wouldn’t tell the story of who these people are. The makeshift stick and rope swing, the wide gap toothed smile on the child’s face, and the intimate moments where mom and son are together, but not perfect are what really tell this story. It’s not a fairytale, but life isn’t like that. I like showing the reality of life.