Last fall, I had the pleasure of (eventually) snapping some candid shots of a few pre-schoolers running around Little Friends Daycare, a local favourite here in Victoria BC, and set within a picturesque church setting. The assignment was more of a personal challenge for me to see if I could even keep up with the rambunctious little rascals to begin with. And, for the most part, I did keep up, but the real challenge I later found out was just trying to go stealth in order to capture those authentic, candid photographs that the daycare had requested for their promotional efforts. And yes, you would think that a six-foot-four photographer would naturally stand out out like a sore thumb when trying to go un-noticed around a bunch of three foot nothing munchkins. But the real reason that stealth-mode was not an option was that toddlers seem to have invisible radar dishes mounted on top of their little heads, because no matter what tree or jungle gym I tried to hide behind, there seemed to be no way of steering all those curious eyes away from my camera’s lens. That all being said, with a little luck and a lot of patience, the kids eventually grew bored of the strange giant lurking about their playground…and that’s when the magic officially began! In this particular shot, I managed to capture a few of the pre-schoolers peering over a fence with great intensity. To be honest, I had no idea what they were looking at, or for, but in the end that really didn’t really matter. It was the genuine moment of innocent curiosity that I was after, which made for a fun and interesting shot, capturing some of the daycare’s essence. So if you happen to have a photographic challenge, and you like what you’ve seen on the rest of this site so far, feel free to reach out to Jack of JackFlash Photography for a free and competitive estimate for your special assignment.
Kids are awesome. They’ll say and do what they want, when they want. No filters included. At the same time, when you’re able to manage and win the little ones over, special things begin to happen in front of the camera’s lens, as seen in a recent shoot for this cutie pie, and her sister. At the beginning of the shoot, the high energy ginger managed to go from confused, to happy, to grumpy, to looking wise and contemplative…all in about 1.5 seconds flat. Which meant I had to take a deep breath, take my camera off the tripod, hope the lighting could would keep up with the little circle sprinter, and truly focus on my subject like I’ve not done before. What I quickly learned was to watch for subtle signs of body language and facial expressions to help me anticipate the one and a half year old’s next move, and never letting go of that trigger. Lucky for me, there was some involvement from the girl’s mother who volunteered to be the official human bubble blowing machine, which in return was cause for great celebration and a whole lot of fun for the girls. With this incredible experience, I’m going to take my photography services to the next challenging level and offer professional portraits to children and their families here at the new JackFlash Victoria studio. I’ll also be offering those services to a nearby childcare centre at a 20% discount (for a limited time only), so be on the lookout for that promotion if you happen to be in the View Royal part of Victoria, BC.
Whenever I look into the eyes of our next generation, I see see innocence, optimism, and excitement for all that is new and fun. It’s a generation with far less barriers, filters and anything else that seems to get in our way as we slowly “mature” into adulthood.
And that’s the very reason why I enjoy photographing kids. You just don’t what you’re going to get, and I find that mystery exciting! And all you have to do as a photographer is keep your finger on the trigger at all times, anticipating next moves, because you never know when that magical moment will introduce itself to you and your lens. I learned that pretty quickly on my first toddler birthday event the other month which hosted about 45 one year old’s crawling about on the floors of a local community hall.
Needless to say the little buggers had me crawling on the floor along side of them as they went about their playful shenanigans. And did I mention I was also operating a photo booth between all the action? Well after loosing about 20 lbs in sweat that day, I truly feel that I came out a better (stronger) photographer, and I have a one year old to be thankful for.
In this photo, I captured a rare calm moment in the day of Max (a Macaulay Culkin doppelgänger) as he looked out the window, before turning his attention to me. It was a millisecond of intense interest from Max–then bam! He was off to discover a new adventure.