I have buckets and blankets, wagons, pinwheels, baskets and platters, knitted cocoons, tutus and headbands, fedoras and beanies, vintage suitcases, typewriters and telephones. I have backdrops of all sorts from fabrics, boards, tin and printed professional nonglare vinyl/canvas. Because of years spent in the antiques business, I entered into children's photography ready for any type of image a parent could desire.
But it's not always about the props, it's about the kids. Not stiff posed kids but sweet innocent children who believe that the prop is a real part of the moment. That's the hard part. That's what I am good at.
I am the oldest kid in the studio. I am the kid that didn't have any toys (or friends) in childhood, or that took the pain of my childhood out on the few toys I had...I didn't deserve them. I wasn't good enough.* So I become the child along with the one I am photographing. I am excited to play with these toys and share them with my new friends, we have a good old time.
I noticed with my own children that the toys rarely got played with regularly. They preferred the box or the adventure of imagination. We played together making costumes, blanket forts and tea parties. I now chase my grandson, crawling on all fours as a dog or a cat. We play peekaboo and marching band with the pots and wooden spoons.
His baby brother is due any day now. I wanted a picture of him interacting with the baby in his mama's belly. We've been reading books about babies, I wonder how real all of this is to him. So I made him a new toy to "talk" to the baby with. This is a shot of that interaction. You can see more shots of this 10 minute mini session on my Facebook fan page.
*Note: I am fortunate that my family has overcome the challenges we all suffered when I was a child and I have a wonderful relationship with my parents. They love being great grandparents and I look forward their continued wisdom in my life.