With her ninth birthday coming up this weekend, we’re planning ahead for our next epic mother-daughter photoshoot production.
Here we are, two photoshoots under our belt and our third just days away.
As I start to wonder how to style our session, she already tells me we’ll have one “urban grunge” set and a “dance” themed set. What the…?
The first photoshoot happened when she turned seven. She knew my job involved studio portraiture. She wasn’t sure what that looked like. She asked if I would do a photoshoot just for her. I was really unsure.
I worried she would be difficult, that she would not follow my instructions. She’s a child who gets overwhelmed easily.
She and I are so different. Tasmin is an extrovert, I am an introvert.
She likes things to be just so. If it’s not her way, then it’s “not fair”. As a child, I would hide nervously in the shadows and prefer to watch the action.
I felt nervous.
So I came up with a plan.
The plan was to make sure that she could choose some of the outfits to feel involved in the process so… I let her choose some fabrics and dresses from the studio wardrobe. I told her they had to be child appropriate.
She did just what I asked.
Throughout the afternoon I saw a different side of Tasmin, a glimpse of her future self.
Creative, decisive, silly.
It was her willingness to jump in and experience my world.
OK so she didn’t wait to hear my posing instructions. No, no. She went right ahead and expressed herself quite freely in front of the camera. I really was surprised. She pretended to be a ballerina, swirling her hands gracefully, and making very profound expressions. She followed her own intuitions with perfect confidence.
I was impressed then and every day since she’s let me see how creative and capable she is. Was it the photos that did it, made her more confident? Or was I not seeing her fully, by filtering her childhood with my own? Was it the shared experience?
A little bit of each perhaps.