I waited 45 years to become a mom and it is the single most gratifying thing I ever did. The sad part is I’m not sure my son will have a visual diary of how much I love hanging with him and how happy he makes me feel.You see I cringe every time the camera lens is pointed in our direction. I know that’s crazy considering I am a photographer but in all honestly most of my friends that are snap happy are just not sympathetic to my double chin or the fact that I am not a runway model. Getting a good shot of you with your kids is hard work and unless there is a pro behind the lens are you are never ever going to like yourself in a candid photo. (serious plug for my services)
All those great People magazine shots or In Style spreads with children and their beautiful mom’s glowing on the pages are chosen from 100’s or even 1000’s of images taken at the shoot and then color corrected, enhanced and of course touched up. Seriously do you really think these women cuddling with their newborn have had more sleep then you and chase their toddlers in Loubatins? So you think, it’s hopeless and your child will look back at all those candid photographs of you and think… Jeeze my mom was just a mess all the time. This doesn’t have to be the case if you can remember a few things to do as soon as you realize the focus is on you! Here’s some of my secrets that I tell my clients before the shoot or while I am photographing them
•Don’t let anybody photograph you unless your hair is blown out or at least shake it out of the ponytail it’s been in since the birth of your first kid.
•The moment someone raises the camera in your direction, ask them to keep shooting… move left, right all about…they are bound to get a shot. Make sure they delete all the others. All you need is that one great shot.
•Bend forward a bit and keep your chin up slightly. This will get rid of any double chin and also make you look just a bit more sultry.
•Please don’t grab you kid too tightly (unless your scared they will be running into a busy street) and squish your cheek to theirs… Hold them at the waist and gently tilt your head toward them. This way your hair will stay in place and you’ll be giving your kid and yourself the freedom to move and engage with the camera and each other
•Keep your tongue behind your teeth and don’t talk. If you are trying to give direction while being the subject then you are going to be caught with your mouth open. So just keep your tongue on the roof of your mouth and smile with your eyes.
•And my most important secret is remember not to ever utter the phrase ”Say Cheese ‘ as it is just going to make the images look cheesy! Oh and my favorite bit of advise is try wear great shoes when you are being photographed as I find they just make you feel better about yourself and the better you feel the better the photo. Happy Mother’s Day to all!
Republished from my sydicated Blog on the Kidville Voices Community ”A Mother’s Love: Chronicled in Pictures”
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Before I moved to Mayberry rarely went grocery shopping. If I needed something, I just stopped at the local Bodega but mostly I just ate out. ( oh how I miss that NYC lifestyle). Settling in the burbs and becoming a mom has made trips to the mega food emporiums an almost daily occurrence, which is really my worst nightmare. There are so many places I would rather be but the supermarket is always where I end up.
A few months ago I noticed that there were men everywhere, pushing the grocery carts, chatting with each other and all with their kids in tow. The supermarket was actually more men friendly and the marketing was targeting the dads with beer near the diapers and an aisle filled with both chips and man products. Some places even added gardening centers to their establishments to woo that male customer into their store.
There has been a paradigm shift in the demographics of the supermarket and I think it actually represents a society that no longer separates our responsibilities by gender and accepts that time is really the delegator of who does what within the family dynamic.The supermarket is now the new Male “hang” and I happily turn the place over to them. Please don’t forget the eggs!
Credits: Make up by Amanda Rae, Hair by Allie for Salon Concrete and thanks Heidi for being my super model on such short notice and Andrea, Damien and the kids for showing up and playing along. Anthropologie in the Grove for having so many great dresses to chose from (one stop shopping) and a really big shout out to Sickles Market in Fair Haven for letting us shoot all over their glorious store on a Sunday
I am always visually inspired when I watch film noire films from the 40’s and 50’s. This was the era of the Femme Fatale, an intoxicating beauty who used her charm and sexual allure to engage the leading man in achieving some dubious agenda.Veronica Lake, Gene Tierney, Ava Gardner and Lana Turner created some of the more legendary Femme Fatale’s of the era. Although the movies they starred in have inspired my images, I find it hard to identify with these women.
I guess back then society just wouldn’t accept a female taking control of her own life so Hollywood conceived a villainess heroine. As I worked on these images, I realized that the women in my circle have never resolved to that Femme Fatale stereotype. They are empowered on there own and use their hearts and brains, along with determination to become successful business woman, mothers and wives and none of them have used their sexuality or charm for anthing other than physical pleasure.
My friends are definitely more Action Hero then Damsel in Distress. Even the entertainment industry no longer believes the Femme Fatale is a box office draw. Snow White, The Hunger Games and Pixar’s Brave now star Female Action Heroes. Pat yourself on the back my female friends, we have paved the way for a healthier generation of girls!
My muse for this post has raised two sons virtually on her own, is passionate about her work and lives a healthy lifestyle. She commissioned this shoot to celebrate 3 milestones in her life: Her sons turn 18 and 21 this year, but the real milestone is that she is celebrating her 50th year. She might look like a Femme Fatale but she is really an Action Hero.