I love working in the studio with kids. It makes for clean, minimalist photos that don’t distract from the child’s emotions and expressions. But it’s a challenge – you can only light for a particular space and there’s no telling to 3-year-old to have fun but stay within the lit area. Props help, but can often work against you because the photo then becomes about the interaction with an inanimate object rather than the child themselves. Kid’s, of course, can always decide they’d rather play with the object in the corner (!) of the studio rather than your lit space.
However, when the this tactic does come off, it comes-off well. The child says within your perfectly lit space and you accidentally uncover a hidden secret to them, a passion, a fascination or as with the case below, a true cognitive understanding of the ‘toy’.
It’s beautiful to watch babies become junior-humans with understandings that seemingly come from nowhere.