In mid-December, I took pictures of a little girl called Maria (‘Maya’), with her parents. We spent an hour in Florence Park, and Maya raced around, undaunted by the ice on the paths, as the rest of us tried to keep up. Maya is a year older than my Maya (the Bee), making her two, and it struck me that when the Bee gets to that age, we, including the dog, will have our work seriously cut out for us. When I asked whether the little blur of red coat and white fluffy hat I was chasing ever stops, her father smiled in a fond but exhausted way, raised his eyebrows, and wished me luck with my own parenting journey. He just about kept up with her, but he is a personal fitness trainer…
As far as I can tell, stage one of photographing a two-year-old is to accept that they are in charge – they may allow you to follow them with your lens, and there will be moments when they are interested in your camera and maybe even pose, but you are at their mercy, and any such moments are fleeting (fast shutter speed and continuous shooting mode essential). Beyond that, all you can do is be patient, not eat too much beforehand (you’ll be running at surprisingly high speeds and squating *a lot*), take a combination of squeaky and cute furry toys along to the shoot, as well as an all-important bottle of bubbles – make a great gift to send little ones away with after a shoot (an hour is a really long time for them), plus you get some shots of real joy when they chase bubbles – plus a free special effect, if a little gorgonzola on the cheese scale.
The strangest thing about this shoot was how similar that little Maya looks to my Maya (they’re not related, and it was the first time I met her) – it was like getting the chance to peer forward in time, and see what the Bee might well look like in one year – we’ll just have to wait and see!
|Bubbles, sunshine and a lovely winter outfit|
|Flying like a plane with her daddy|
|Cuddles with mummy|
Thank you to Dan and family for this shoot – especially to Maya!