Every fall and spring, Ella and Henry showcases their new kids fashions for the season during a Fashion Show at the store in New Canaan. This is also when I get to take super quick fashion portraits on the kids.
It's been a very busy weekend here at N. Lalor Photography. One of the events I look forward to every year is the Fall Fashion Show at the Ella & Henry kids clothing store in New Canaan. I have the privilege of taking the runway photos, and also Studio shots of all the outfits (which I set up for in the basement next to the changing areas.. yes, it's as glamorous as it sounds).
One of the most important factors to looking good on camera is being able to feel comfortable when someone is taking your photograph.Now, that is certainly easier said than done, because I know firsthand the terror and anxiety that comes with someone pointing a camera in my direction. And when you're a tween girl, or a Mom to a tween girl, you probably hear all sorts of things about photographers, modeling, and the uncomfortable situations that might result. I certainly get surprised when I hear some of the questions parents ask, because I come from a background of photographing families, babies, and kids.
Ella & Henry's Spring 2017 fashion show was a wonderful showcase of latest kids and tween fashion trends, including outfits from Steiff, bellybutton, Stella M'Lia, and Papermoon, and beautiful flower crowns by BOW&ROSE. I have the distinct pleasure of photographing the fashion show, but I also set up a mini-studio downstairs and take fashion portraits of the kids before and after the big event.
Every season, Ella & Henry children's clothing store in New Canaan imports all the best quality and most stylish kids clothes from Europe. These styles are revealed during the semi-annual fashion show. So, I take a few minutes before and after the show to capture portraits that really show off the outfits and accessories (seriously, check out those awesome headbands).
None of these kids are professional models, but they all did such a fantastic job walking the runway and posing for photographs! And some of these images will be decorating the walls of the store next month, so definitely stop by to see them in person. The clothes are from several companies: Steiff, Bellybutton, Paper Moon, and a local favorite Stella M'Lia, which are all such fantastic brands.
Oh, and if you've been thinking about buying outfits for a family photo session or a photoshoot of your child, you can visit Ella & Henry (137 Elm. Street in New Canaan) to get personal styling help for the session. They know my methods for styling my models and what looks great on camera.. and that is such an incredible help for parents.
Clara (8yrs) is the oldest of three children. I seem to run into this a lot (my own experience included)... the first child is strong-willed. "Challenging". Has her own very strong opinions. Well, here's a secret. I am all for strong-willed and opinionated kids in my Studio. I LOVE them. They are awesome. And the first thing I do, is listen to what THEY want.
Because once they see that the photographer is not only allowing them to make decisions, but actually welcoming their ideas and thoughts.. they bring so much more to the experience than I could ever hope for. So we selected outfits together. Talked about footwear choices and different color backgrounds. We explored different poses and expressions. And we focused on movement, because Clara is a dancer.
Looking at the images from the photoshoot, you can see that Clara was having a lot of fun. And you might assume that we were rowdy, and loud, and doing all sorts of crazy things to achieve that final result. But things were actually quite low-key.
I'm really not that highly-entertaining photographer that jumps around and elicits big laughs by being cooky and silly. I'm a fairly quiet person by nature. I listen and I observe. I don't overpower the person I'm working with. I kind of understand what it's like to be an 8-year old. And somehow, it all works. We get those big laughs, the real smiles, and the strong personality, during a photo session that's not as rambunctious as it appears. I am who I am, and I expect exactly the same from the kids I photograph.
Hair styling by Peggy's Hair Salon in Riverside, Connecticut.
Studio photography can be pretty awful. Kids don't usually like sitting in one spot and being told what to do. Lighting can look pretty unnatural. And the whole experience can certainly feel a lot like pulling teeth (aka, not pleasant!).
Well, I refuse to do things that way.
That's one of the biggest reasons I'm drawn to an editorial style of photography. It's a style that relies on authentic expression. Personality. Natural-looking lighting. And images that look easy-going and fun... and real. It's not so different from photographing candid moments, actually. And it's absolutely perfect for capturing the many facets of a child's personality.
And it doesn't matter whether I'm photographing someone in their home or in my Studio, because I don't change my approach. My goal is always to create a meaningful image. A photograph that captures a little piece of time in that person's life. Their expression. Their interactions. A look. A smile. A simple portrait whose focus is the person, not styled objects.
And I stick with my approach. Because I believe in it with all my heart.
My studio doesn't have props or baskets. There are no whimsical chairs to sit in. No elaborate backgrounds. There's nothing extra that will add "interest" to the image, because I feel that the person in front of the camera is the most interesting already. I like things to be simple. And that's just me. That's what makes my heart sing and I plan on sticking with that. :)