Never Work with Children or Animals… Unless Their Surname is Giles

November 27, 2012  •  2 Comments

 

When I asked my friend Nikki whether she would mind if I took pictures of her children, she asked me if I was sure. Her eldest child, Hollie, is about 4 years of age and a bundle of energy. She gives everything her undivided attention for approximately two and a half minutes and then she’s onto her next adventure… skipping through the living room wearing Mummy’s boots, doing a head stand wearing her pink bicycle helmet and hurdling over the sofa head first… I’m exhausted just watching her, but this is all just a few minutes in the life of Hollie Giles. She is utterly fabulous and I could immediately see why Nikki had reservations about her “modelling” for me.

 

However I had a plan.  I’m a teacher you see – I know all about low attention spans; children thinking you’re the best thing since chocolate spread one minute and then finding you as dull as Monday morning assemblies the next. So like I said, I had a plan… to take pictures as quickly as possible. Not a very complex plan but it really worked. I thought about the poses I wanted beforehand, suggested them to Hollie; and then suggested new ones when she refused. Then I took pictures of the poses ‘she’ wanted to do; yes, I even took pictures of her pulling her lips wide with her fingers to reveal a full set of baby teeth and gums. What’s more, I showed her the pictures as I was taking them. This seemed to maintain her interest for an extra 3 minutes… but every minute counts in photography.

 

 

When it was clear Hollie had had enough, I moved on to baby brother Harrison. He is 3 months old… not old enough to crawl, let alone hurdle over sofas. Nikki has always been ultra-organised and practical even when we were at University. When we were organising the photo-shoot, she suggested that I came to her house after Harrison had his nap and had been fed, so that I would get him at his best. This is the best piece of advice I could ever have been given and it is something that I will make sure I apply to any other shoot I do with babies. The picture I have uploaded of Harrison reflects how he was the whole time I was there; happy, smiley and content with the world – perfect!

 

 

 


Comments

Nikki Giles(non-registered)
Having had a previous photo shoot of our family with another photographer in which we did not feel we got any good pictures, I was naturally hesitant when Tina said she would like to photograph my children as I didn't want to waste her time. I shouldn't have been worried. She quickly sussed out how Hollie ticks and embraced her hectic approach to life! She made Hollie feel at ease and in control of her photoshoot, making her much more willing to get into good poses. With Harrison it obviously helped to be able to have the flexibility to organise the shoot at a time when he had been fed and had taken a nap, so we could gets some great shots of our little man. I would thoroughly recommend using Tina and I'm sure once you see the pictures we have, you will see why too!
Peter Phillips(non-registered)
Nice blog, and these are gorgeous pictures, looking forward to following your story.
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