Me as MWAC and how that backfired on our Christmas card | London Family Photographer

{MWAC – Mum with a camera. Many mwacs are very successful in taking amazing photos of their kids. So if you are a mwac, please don’t take offense. It’s just that I’m not a good mwac. Truth be told, my most difficult photoshoots to date are of my own children with me as a mwac!}

December 1st had arrived and my Christmas cards for my family and the photography business are not even in the planning stages. It’s been a crazy winter season and keeping on top of everything had been a major challenge.

But I had a mini-session the following day so I thought quick I’ll just slip my kids in there and take a few shots for our family cards. My beautiful families for the morning have come and gone and all went great – happy faces and gorgeous kids and we got some good shots {although it often doesn’t feel like that at the time of shooting especially when very young toddlers are the subjects, gorgeous as they are}.

So my kids arrive and I instinctively go in Mummy mode, camera in hand, but NO photographer hat on. Meanwhile my husband sits in the kitchen playing with his ipad while I try position my kids in the living room and tried to take their pictures. Of course in full Mummy mode trying to get a Christmas happy snap, I forget to use any tricks and tips. No props whatsoever. And didn’t even think of enlisting the help of my ipad-happy husband. Things could have been much easier if I got him to pull funny faces behind me or crack some silly jokes. I wish he recorded me – it would have sounded hilarious and would be the hard evidence of an epic fail…

I took 37 shots of my 3 kids and sat in front of the computer pulling my hair out. Only two photos are usable for a Christmas card. And oh wait, on one of those I had to paste my son’s head and body from another photo.

Here are some of the outtakes…don’t laugh…too hard…

Sawyer out 3 WEB

There’s always the one…

Sawyer out 4 WEB
Sawyer out 7 WEB

I could hear myself saying “quick, just look at the camera…no don’t pull funny faces…don’t do anything just look here…sigh..sigh…sigh…please just try to look happy for a second…”

Sawyer out 8 WEB

Someone does not know what to do with her mouth…

Sawyer out 10 WEB

This one below needed a head and body swap.

Sawyer out 2 WEBSawyer out 12 WEB

“That’s it, I’ve had enough!” Lesson learnt.

I often get asked how I manage to capture smiling toddlers and happy kids {granted it’s not easy and it certainly does not happen all the time}. My answer is always the same: it’s not me, it’s the parents. I get my camera and light settings sorted and then enlist the parents’ help. They work so hard to get those smiles. They sing, they laugh, the dance and show them all crazy and groovy moves. They blow raspberries like a 6 month old would and pull the silliest of faces. They are the only ones who truly know what makes their kids laugh, what makes them happy, what makes them smile. And without them, I tell you I’d end up with grumpy faces and bewildered stares.

And it’s not only that. I usually tell the parents how to positions their faces and chins and so forth for a more flattering look. So they have to keep that in mind as well as work hard to get those smiles from the children all at the same time. It’s hard work being a model. It’s no wonder most parents leave the photo shoot exhausted, but having had so much fun and more importantly, happy with their photos when they get them.

To all you fabulous parents, thank you so much for your hard work in helping capture beautiful memories of your gorgeous children!

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