Dana Kelly Photography » Blog

It’s been so long since I’ve posted in this blog that I actually forgot the password to login!!  You know word-of-mouth marketing is effective when you are completely booked without updating your blog in more than two years.  That’s right, 2015 sessions are sold out.  I do have a waitlist, however, so please do contact me if you’re interested in booking a session–I always do my best to squeeze everyone in!  Or consider booking a session for next January of February–I’ve got some exciting changes coming up for the new year that I look forward to sharing.  In the meantime, here’s an image that perfectly sums up what I call Fall Fever–the Texas equivalent of Spring Fever, or the giddy exuberance that we Houstonians feel when it finally cools off enough to spend time outdoors, yet is still warm enough to dance in your sandals.  Yes!!


It’s been busy here!  As the summer comes to an end (if not the Houston heat), I thought I’d start catching up before fall madness sets in.   I’ve had quite a few newborns lately, so I thought I’d start with this little one.  I always strive to capture both traditional posed shots and lifestyle images at every newborn session.  I must admit that my favorite shots, however, are always those that incorporate something personal.

As someone who spends a lot of time around children (both as a photographer, a parent, and sometimes as both), I always try to remember that we often get the best from children when we stop nattering at them (as my mother would say), and simply let them be.  Especially with babies and younger children, I often speak very little during a shoot.  A lot can be communicated with facial expression and body language, and babies are so much better at reading these things than we give them credit for.  Preschool aged and older children often, though certainly not always, enjoy talking about themselves, so games and jokes have a place in making them feel comfortable.  Just as important as talking to children, however, is listening to what they have to say in response.  We busy adults often ask children a lot of questions, and then fail to really listen to their answers.  Yet, children love when adults listen to them, and really hearing what a child has to say goes a long way toward building a connection.  If a child feels comfortable and connected with you, he or she will connect with your camera.  You cannot force this.  So my goal at every shoot is to make a child feel comfortable and connected, which can mean more or less verbal communication depending on the child, but pretty much never means telling the child to sit still or to smile or to look at the camera.

Of course, this approach often makes parents very uncomfortable, because parents, understandably anxious to get the most from their session, cannot resist directing their children to sit still or to smile or to look at the camera.  I understand this temptation well because it overtakes me each time I pick up the camera to photograph my own children.  The control-freak parent in me often cannot resist barking orders at my children—orders that I frankly would never dream of shouting at other people’s children.  So I have really made a conscious effort to take my own advice and simply shut up when I take out the camera at home.  I try to make it less about what I think I want from the experience (perfect photos to hang on the wall!), and more about spending time with them and making them feel special.  The results are worth it.