Artistic child portraiture: Thoughts from my young model

What does it take to create a real good portrait?

When I photograph children I like to chat with them. They can understand it when you are genuinely interested in them, in how they feel and what they think about various things. It really matters to me who a child is as a person. I also believe that if you treat a child as equal, then you should be able to see his or her personality much better.

Isn't it just wonderful how a child wants to express herself through a portrait?

I look at this portrait of Dasha and it makes me smile as I recall our conversation. Dasha was a great model to photograph not only because she is pretty and bright. I try to make my photo session a lot of fun and let the children play around freely. But for Dasha it was more than having fun and getting attention. She had the idea that a portrait is meant to be art and she liked to create that art with me. It was her chance to express herself and so she did. She posed consciously and patiently, yet naturally, and one can see her character behind this posing. The pensive and dreamy expression came naturally to Dasha: it reflects her vivid imagination. Dasha enjoyed being photographed, and it does not surprise me that she had thoughts of becoming an actress one day.

When I praised her modeling skills, Dasha said to me: “I know that a photographer may need to take a thousand images in order to get the one that is great”. And she kept on posing. I was amazed with this remark. Obviously, Dasha must have heard it somewhere but she had put it into practice perfectly.

Thank you for your appreciation of my work, dear Dasha! It was a special experience for me to photograph you.

Does it take a thousand photos to make a lovely portrait? Not necessarily (and sheer numbers provide no guarantee). But it does take seeing and valuing one’s personality.

Find out more about my family and children photography. I am based in Rotterdam region and am available for destination photo sessions throughout the Netherlands and Belgium.