I think that people sometimes forget that toddlers, just like fully grown-up people, are not interchangeable. Those little bodies come with BIG personality, and that is what I adore about photographing them. Some are immediately warm, and smiley. Some are aloof and don't want to look at the camera. This little one had no problem looking at me. But she was one of the more serious toddlers I've met. Good thing for me, I adore a serious toddler face. Is there anything more perfect?
Now as much as I love a serious face, this is a one-year photo session. So, of course I want some smiles. Although, her parents assured me that she is, in fact, just one serious little soul. I tried all my tricks: things on my head, squeaky toys, saying silly things. And I got some hints of a smile.
But what finally got it, what finally got me some full-on toothy grins was...wait for it...signing my best rendition of the theme song to the Mickey Mouse Club House. I'm not above silly songs to get a smiling toddler for a photograph. Nope. Sometimes it takes me a minute to get a smile, sometimes it takes me 10. I always manage to figure it out though.
We also did some lovely family photography during this session. And you know what? Outtakes happen. Something I've found, however, is that often the outtakes are bookended by gorgeous shots. So, I am sure it is obvious which one of these is an outtake. And it was followed by that beautiful moment. Neither are posed and scripted. And both embody the joy of motherhood.