Monday, June 24, 2013

A 1 Year Old Portrait: Studio or Outdoors?

So your child is about to reach their first full year on Earth.  Celebrating a child’s 1 year birthday is a pretty big deal in some cultures.  In American culture, it’s also an opportunity for new parents to buy silly party hats, hire a scary clown and host a large birthday party to mark the momentous occasion.

As a family portrait photographer, quite often I am asked by parents to create a portrait of a toddler at their 1 year mark or sometime soon after.  The most popular question I am frequently asked by clients is, “Should we have his or her portrait created in the studio or outdoors?”

My response without thought is always, “Outdoors”.  Okay, I may be a bit biased about the beautiful outdoors.  Why with its green grasses, mountainous backdrops and colorful flowers, how could anyone be so biased? 

Well there is actually a more practical reason from those listed above.  A portrait studio is usually dark, cramped and small.  There is little room for roaming.  Sounds like a solitary confinement cell doesn’t it?  Actually, there is a very small area about the size of a medium circular area rug, where a photographer can properly light an individual or family for a portrait.

A child between the ages of 1 and 2, is really excited about the notion of their new found skill of walking.  Couple this with the fact that they can stay fixated or amused on one thing for about a whole 40 seconds, and you have a child that has absolutely no interest in being restricted to a small area.  A toddler being held by another family member in a studio family portrait is very doable.  However, a toddler having their portrait taken on their own would not be a day at Disneyland for the parent or the child.

Therefore, I always recommend an outdoor location for a toddler portrait.  A lush green and natural area can keep a child’s interest for about 20-30 minutes with a few attempts to have your child look at the camera in between.  The air is fresh and the light is bright.  The area for the right kind of portrait light is abundant enough for a child to walk around in.  Add to this that there a more likely to be diverse backdrops that will give you more options to chose for your final prints.

Having these portraits created outdoors, will also provide an opportunity for your photographer to capture many natural expressions your child makes.  My daughter used to have the habit of tucking her bottom lip under her top teeth.  As a new parent, I thought it was the cutest thing.  Each time that I look at her portrait with that expression, it makes me remember what that time was like and brings back an assortment of happy memories.

So grab your baby, bring a handful of outfits to capture him or her in and enjoy the beauty of a toddler portrait that is created in natural light.

FotoNuova is a family portrait photographer providing services in Los Angeles, Pasadena, Orange County and throughout all of Southern California. Aaron creates beautiful toddler portraits for clients to enjoy for a lifetime. For more information, please visit our website at: toddler Portrait Photographer | FotoNuova or call 626-588-2445

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