Then and Now / Danita Brooks Childrens Photographer

Then & Now Kids growing up through my lens / www.danitabrooks.com

Then & Now Kids growing up through my lens as a childrens photographer / www.danitabrooks.com

Back to CA from FL so time for a Then and Now of M. & C…

Back from my month in Jacksonville Florida and to start it off I am featuring a “Then and Now” of M. & C.  They are twins with a lot of personality!  As a childrens photographer, I see a lot of different personalities.  And these two are completely unique personalities and this was even evident back when they were toddlers.  I love using these personalities to show their own individual expressions and joy.

These two just have fun!  Boys can make anything fun most of the time.  I love the action at our photo sessions…boys just being boys with lots of laughing and playing.  One of the things that I love about being a childrens photographer is coming up with ways to keep kid’s attention (which can be really short as we all know all too well).  I love acting like a big kid…chasing kids down the beach, having a race or playing goofy games.  So whether I’m taking your children’s photographs or your taking your own, remember to play with them.  That is their language…they speak and relate to playing, laughing and having fun.

Remember how fast they grow…as a childrens photographer it does feel like a blink of an eye watching them grow.

From photo shoot to photo shoot and seemingly in the blink of an eye, these two have sprouted big time.  Their first session seems like it was yesterday.  That’s a session were we were chasing them a lot!   By a lot I mean a lot and feeding them snacks along the way too!  So as the cheerios and goldfish were flying, I also remember a dog walked up at just the right time for me to get some last minute smiles at our earliest beach session.  Random beach walkers with cute dogs are a great distraction at times for tired toddlers.

I had an absolute blast at this session in FL and I can’t wait to see how much they grow the next time!  Just one of the many joys of being a childrens photographer is the relationships that grow as well…I love that!

Then and Now…Danita Brooks Photography / Jacksonville Kids Photography

Then and Now Series…they were little and now they are not as little…

I’m starting “Then and Now” Series.  Kids photography is so important to me…they change so fast and it happens before my eyes (and my camera lense).  As a newborn and family photographer, I get the privilege of seeing my families grow and change as their lives change.  Some of my families are growing so fast and most of their children I started photographing as newborns.  To start out I want to feature one of mine.  Little A. just started school this year.  She still seems small to me but this takes me back.  Here she is “Then and Now”…

 

 

Family fun “What To Wear” / Family Photographer Jacksonville FL

What to wear to a family session / www.danitabrooks.com

What to wear to a family session / www.danitabrooks.com

What to wear to a family session / www.danitabrooks.com

What to wear to a family session / www.danitabrooks.com

What to wear to a family session / www.danitabrooks.com

What to wear to a family session / www.danitabrooks.com

What to wear to a family session / www.danitabrooks.com

What to Wear?  Family session ideas…

This session just made me smile!  I had so much fun and these kids are so full of personality.  Of course, I loved the colors of their outfits and yes mom’s shoes were awesome!  I put these outfit choices in my “what to wear” category…sometimes when it comes to your family photo session the big question is “what do we wear?!?!”  My biggest tip is to pick a color palette.  It is the artist in me.  I say break it up…gone are the days of the safe look of khaki and white.  Let’s have some color and not be so matchy matchy.  Even if your going with neutrals, let’s break it up a little with one more neutral or color.  Pick a palette of 3 colors and if you have a pattern keep it on the kids…unless your amazing at matching patterns (and I have clients that look like a catalog shoot in that pattern coordinated type of way).  And nothing beats a good pair of shoes or a favorite dress to start your inspiration.  Ok I’m so drawn to shoes…I only seem to wear flip flops but I love looking at shoes.

As a family photographer, my goal is to create images that reflect who you are as a family.  The real you so keep your outfits within your own personal style but maybe kick it up a notch with a little bit of color or some great accessories.  I want to create a wonderful experience as well as amazing images and the choice of “what to wear” should be a fun one.  So as always if you need help, you can send me pictures of your ideas and I can help out.  This family always makes my job so much fun and what a wonderful shoot!  I love it when a simple day in the park turns out so perfect 🙂

Thomas’s Bar Mitzvah / Bar Mitzvah Photographer Jacksonville

 

Bar Mitzvah this was an amazing time / www.danitabrooks.com

Bar Mitzvah this was an amazing time / www.danitabrooks.com

Bar Mitzvah this was an amazing time / www.danitabrooks.com

Bar Mitzvah this was an amazing time / www.danitabrooks.com

Bar Mitzvah this was an amazing time / www.danitabrooks.com

Bar Mitzvah this was an amazing time / www.danitabrooks.com

Bar Mitzvah this was an amazing time / www.danitabrooks.com

Bar Mitzvah this was an amazing time / www.danitabrooks.com

Bar Mitzvah this was an amazing time / www.danitabrooks.com

Bar Mitzvah this was an amazing time / www.danitabrooks.com

Bar Mitzvah this was an amazing time / www.danitabrooks.com

Bar Mitzvah this was an amazing time / www.danitabrooks.com

Bar Mitzvah this was an amazing time / www.danitabrooks.com

Bar Mitzvah this was an amazing time / www.danitabrooks.com

Bar Mitzvah this was an amazing time / www.danitabrooks.com

Bar Mitzvah this was an amazing time / www.danitabrooks.com

This Bar Mitzvah was an amazing celebration…

Wow I have seen this family grow…boy does time fly! I couldn’t believe it was already time for a Bar Mitzvah and I was so honored to be their Bar Mitzvah photographer.  And for anyone who hasn’t ever attended a Bar Mitzvah let me tell you how impressed I was at the dedication that it took for Thomas to prepare.  I was amazed at the ceremony from the reading of the Torah in Hebrew which is all hand written by the way and has to be read with great care.  Then as Thomas led the whole entire ceremony.  It was so moving to see the Torah passed down from generation to generation, and the love the family has for all of those who came before them.  I was just honored to be there and experience the day.
And wow what a party followed the ceremony!  The party was held at Epping Forest Yacht Club and it was amazing.  The club is a beautiful historic estate that sits on the riverfront in Jacksonville…it’s perfect place to enjoy a wonderful view and great atmosphere.  And at this party the atmosphere was amazing from the kids to the dancing.  The disk jockeys and dancers were from D’Land Entertainment and they were great…they did an amazing job of interacting with the kids and getting everyone into the groove.  The party just did not stop!  Everyone was dancing, flip book making, the drinks and the soda bar were flowing.  Kids were making faces in a photo booth as everyone was eating wonderful food.  The night kept going with more dancing, hula hoops flying, laughing and just plain fun.  Congratulations to Thomas and what a wonderful day!

Baby M. / Newborn Photography

Newborn Photography Session of my dreams…

Ahhh this baby was soooo sweet at her newborn photography session and so are the siblings!  Baby M. did a perfect job being a little princess at our photo shoot.  I loved photographing her and her three siblings.

So how do you get four children to pose for you?  This is one of the biggest questions that comes up with newborn photography sometimes.  Some newborn photographers may answer…you have to have really great kids.  Just kidding :)… but this crew was really amazing.  Or you have to bribe them with ice cream and candy 🙂  Newborn photography sessions can be tricky especially when there are other children involved (or “stars”).  Actually these kids were so good…mom prepped them beforehand and they came excited ready to do our newborn photography session.  We all had so much fun.

So…

  • prep mom beforehand…tell her have fun and not to stress (easier said than done)
  • prep the kids on what you are doing
  • get the kids involved as your “assistants”
  • if one doesn’t want to assist…that is ok too.  Play to that one’s strengths 🙂  Maybe they need to be the center of attention for a few minutes as the big kid.

I love having fun at newborn sessions and getting the big kids involved.  Play with them and being a big kid myself…just hoping no one is shooting a youtube video of me in the process.  Ok this has got to be one of my favorite sweetest sibling shots…love love love!

Newborn Photography let's get the big kids involved too / www.danitabrooks.com

Newborn Photography / www.danitabrooks.com

Newborn Photography let's get the big kids involved too / www.danitabrooks.com

Newborn Photography baby in a big basket...so sweet / www.danitabrooks.com

Family Session all under 4 oh my / Family Photography

It’s a Family Session & toddlers will play!

Ok this first image is one reason I love a big family session…especially fun families!  You would never know there were storms all around us…dark rain clouds just ready to break.  The kids were all under the age of 4 so all of the moms know how that goes.  We played, we laughed and we cried 🙂  All the perfect ingredients for a great session…full of fun and lots of toddler energy (just the way I like it!) And a perfect tip from Grandma…bring marshmallows then run with them 🙂

Remember goldfish & marshmallows are a photographers best friend when everyone is under the age of 4!

Family Session on the fun, the snacks and the energy / www.danitabrooks.com

Family Session on the fun, the snacks and the energy / www.danitabrooks.com

Family Session on the fun, the snacks and the energy / www.danitabrooks.com

Family Session on the fun, the snacks and the energy / www.danitabrooks.com

Family Session on the fun, the snacks and the energy / www.danitabrooks.com

Family Session on the fun, the snacks and the energy / www.danitabrooks.com

Family Session on the fun, the snacks and the energy / www.danitabrooks.com

Family Session on the fun, the snacks and the energy / www.danitabrooks.com

Family Session on the fun, the snacks and the energy / www.danitabrooks.com

Family Session on the fun, the snacks and the energy / www.danitabrooks.com

I love this technique…going to start using this at all my family sessions!

Family Session on the fun...Grandma brought the marshmallows / www.danitabrooks.com

 

 

Solace For the Children / Jacksonville Children Photography

Solace For the Children…what a wonderful time we had this year!

Imagine seeing the ocean for the first time…I had the pleasure of seeing H. see the ocean for the first time at my first Solace for the Children session this summer.  It took my breath away!  So his host family had him all decked out with a life vest and an Avengers ring around his waist.  As he sprinted towards the ocean he stopped in awe.  Then he started dancing and literally had I not had the camera plastered to my face I would have lost it.

I love the excitement and the energy these children have despite their circumstances. That energy is contagious and the stories these children have are inspiring! To see children who come to America for the hope of healing and to see how far many of them have come. I got to see A. standing on the beach after 3 years of surgery for his foot and he now is walking with no crutches. To see one little girl who’s story is so powerful standing with confidence in front of my camera, and her smile is the only thing you see now as her burns are almost totally healed. To see S. who loves to play jokes and looks really close to see you because he can’t hear or see very well… he makes me laugh every time and his love for life is amazing.

I hope to have half the courage and love that these kids demonstrate. Every one of these children has a story and I could go on and on. This year was so much fun photographing all the families and kids…I feel like I grow and appreciate life even more with every child I meet 🙂

If you are interested in seeing more about this charity, please visit their website for more inspiring stories about these wonderful kids…Solace For the Children

Solace For The Childrens 2012 / www.danitabrooks.com

Little K…catch me if you can/ Jacksonville FL Children’s Photographers

Summer session dancing on the beach and playing in the sand photo session / www.danitabrooks.com

Summer Session…dancing on the beach and digging in the sand!

I have been so busy this summer…crazy busy is kind of an understatement right now.  But that is what I love about summer…the kids all coming in my office and going to the pool on a whim. So kicking off my “trying to be good to the blog” moment…I thought this is a perfect summer session to feature with a slideshow.  I just love this family and it has been an honor just to see K grow.  A miracle baby with parents that adore her and she just lights up everyone with that smile.  You can tell by this show just how much fun we had.  And yes we ran a lot!!  A lot and it was so fun!!!