Who ever thought a Big Day was only for birders? Little girls have lots of Big Days, and one of them is the annual dance recital.
It is a day of sitting in a beautician's chair, getting nails painted, putting on makeup, dressing up and of course, posing for Grandma.
It is an annual ritual for me to take photos before this event, and my idea of getting some real keepers is to make the experience as much fun as possible.
Being the daughter of a photographer, I have a lifetime of watching people get their picture taken. All too often, a photo shoot becomes a painful experience for all involved. The session is rushed, commands get barked out, and children begin to seize up, yielding less-than-memorable photos.
My philosophy is to let the experience reflect the excitement of the event. Back in the day, photographers were working with film and were concerned about every shot being worthy of a scrap book.
Nowadays, the digital camera brings freedom to the shoot. It is possible to take all of the "silly" pictures and hope in between their antics the good ones will just evolve.
My two little girls are no longer camera shy. They love playing with the moment and rushing to me to look at the pictures in between shots. That, alone, provides motivational feedback to keep them going.
These are only a few of the many pictures I was able to get in a 30-minute session.
When we finished, they were just as happy as when we started.
In this digital age, very few photographers print their pictures any more, The images just drift off into a massive online photo folder, never to be enjoyed again.
In order to ensure these moments get enjoyed over and over, I have prepared some event books for them to go on their bookshelves. From time to time, they pull them out to relive the moment.... just like we used to flip through the many photo albums over the years. These moments are precious and deserve being enjoyed over and over.
Arriving at the Arts and Culture Centre, they readily changed into their dancing shoes and joined a couple of hundred other dancers and had a ball.
These were the best shots I could garner in the centre during the show, but they will serve the purpose of reminding them of the fun they had.
Of course, a proud Grandma enjoyed every moment with them. So, over the summer, the dancing shoes get hung up and, weather permuting, they will frolic in outdoor events.