ALEXANDRA | GÄVLE, SWEDEN

Would you believe that for the first 15 minutes of Alexandra’s shoot, she was screaming and in tears? She saw me pull out my camera and lost it. It’s definitely not unusual for kids to see strange equipment and become scared, probably because they’re not sure what’s going to happen to them. Alexandra was a special case. She speaks Swedish, I do not. So it was pretty much impossible for me to calm her, because I couldn’t understand what she was saying or what she was upset about. I give all the credit to her dad, Anders, for taking 15 minutes to sit with her, calm her down, and help her understand what we were doing. I put the camera on a stool and went and sat in front of it with Kevin for a few shots. She could see it was painless. When she was ready, she slipped on her white dress, and even agreed to wear my handmade white and blue headbands (thanks to two old shirt my friend Pip was throwing out). Alexandra did a complete 180! I’m not telling this story to embarrass Alexandra or Anders. I’m telling it as a testimony that sometimes when kids have a melt down at the beginning of a session, there’s lots of time left to shoot, and more hope than parents can imagine. One of the biggest mishaps I see when parents bring their kids to me is a nervous-nelly-hurried-parent who gets worked up because they’re worried time will run out. And trust me, I get it, “Only an hour to shoot, they need to smile and cooperate right now!!” Would you believe that in Alexandra’s hour long shoot, we took all of the following shots in 30 minutes? Plenty of time to get the nervous tears out of the way and even more time to get great shots like these! And if she had spent the entire hour screaming, we’d reschedule and try again. Luckily, goofiness and smiles translate!

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