Maddie’s Frozen Adventure
Since Maddie’s been born, I like to do at least one studio shoot a year to document what she looks like at her current age, what she’s into, her personality, etc.
I have done this 3 years in a row around Christmas time.
This year was no different, except that I moved the session out to the garage. I set up the seamless, placed and weighted down the lights (even placed extra weight as an extended precaution since I was about to have a 2.5-year-old Tasmanian on the lose). After I had the set created, I informed my wife, Lauren, and she brought Maddie out – she was in all her glory!
She strolled out of the house with her frozen comforter tied around her shoulders and kitty winter gloves. The only other part of her outfit I could see was her hair bow… Needless to say, our baby girl pulled it off! She walked onto the seamless paper and gave me a huge smile. At this point, I hadn’t tested the light on for accuracy, but it didn’t matter since I knew I’d be close (this wasn’t my first rodeo) and we just went with it.
I was able to capture a few of her with the cape on before she saw her wooden horsey off to the side. So, like a dad, I asked her “Do you want to ride Sven?” She lite up! Of course, the cape had to come off when she got on Sven because that’s what she wanted, and when shooting toddlers, you take what you can get. They create the flow and you go with it. Like I said earlier, I just planned on shooting our yearly session to capture her as her for that period of her life. I didn’t expect she’d give me the gold she did.
Pro tip: Seamless can do more for you than simply having a timeless look. When shooting on seamless, you control its tone. Want it to be white? Light it that way! Want it to be Black? Light it that way! You fully control its visual outcome… and it’s great for post-production compositing; like I did in this series.
She rode Sven for about 4 minutes before he lost his luster, or rather before she saw her Rapunzel kite… Ah, to be inside the chaotic mind of a toddler, as the notices stimulation after stimulation! What I forgot to mention up to this point is that I like to capture my wife Lauren interacting with Maddie as well for this session. So, when she wanted the Rapunzel kite, I asked Lauren to grab it for her and bring it over so I could begin capturing their interactions together. However, by this point, Maddie was pretty much done with the shoot. It wasn’t even 10 minutes in yet and she was done… But I didn’t get anything with her and mom. What to do, what to do.
What we did was Lauren sat down to and tried to get Maddie to snuggle with her, but Maddie wanted to climb on her, because again… why not? Lauren picked Maddie up via a piggyback ride and they both delivered me the most beautiful, warm, innocent, loving, radiant moment of the session – and I captured it. That moment was followed by more toddler life of scaring the hell out of Mom, but also a hilarious image to those viewing it from the outside in.
Lauren got Maddie off her back and as soon as lil girls feed hit the ground, she ran to the curve of the seamless and tried to run through it. The result was it coming down with us parents swooping in to catch it and it no longer being seamless because of all the new folds and wrinkles. Maddie was really done at this point and Mom was sad, so I shot one last shot to capture her feelings on how we wrapped. This was the shortest session to date I’ve done with Mom and Maddie but as you can see… it was fun while it lasted.
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