Creating portraits of children requires a delicate touch and hinges almost entirely on how we approach our young subjects. Most kids know how they want to be photographed, and you’d be wise to let them show you.
All children have stories to share that can set the course of a portrait session, and when you are working with preteens and teens, you are often exposed to an array of free-form emotion just waiting to be documented. Rather than instructing youth to “say cheese,” it’s much more productive to find out what makes them smile (maybe you’ll discover they don’t even like their smile). They will also let you know how they like to be posed … or not.
Because she’s a mother as well as a photographer, April knows that putting parents at ease is key, and she shows participants how to interview kids alongside their families. By creating an atmosphere of safety, we allow each child’s individuality to shine through.
Regardless of their age or circumstance, it is up to us to meet all children where they are, with no expectations. The more we are willing and able to do that, the more our portraiture can capture the nuances of their distinct personalities, resulting in a memory capsule of a particular moment in time.
Working knowledge of digital workflow on your laptop computer and manual mode on your digital SLR or mirrorless camera. Participants must be able to download and select images using image editing software for class sessions.
April Milani’s love of the photographic image began with a Polaroid camera in the kitchen of her grandmother, who told her, “You only get one shot, so make it count.” April studied black-and-white photography in college but temporarily put aside the practice as a young adult, until motherhood inspired her to pick up a camera again. After completing a course at the New York Institute of Photography, she went on to immerse herself thoroughly in the medium. April is a believer in facing one’s fears, and her strong sense of curiosity continues to propel her forward creatively.