Yes. I’m a grammie. And this grammie photographs little ballerinas when they come to my home dressed in tutus! Wouldn’t you?!
After working as a delivery nurse for over thirty years, I retired and found myself picking up the camera. I fell in love with the creative voice it gave me. When I’m not photographing my grandkids, I’m empowering other moms with how to use their camera through my CONFIDENCE Workshops in VA, and I’m also documenting…you guessed it…birth photography! I’m back in the delivery room with a new gift to give to those I work with.
Looking for photo inspiration, I leisurely browsed through Me Ra’s new book, Your Child in Pictures. As soon as I saw the photo recipe “I love dancing” (pg 78), I knew this was the idea to try with my granddaughters who are almost 3 years old and 5 years old.
Calling my daughter-in-law, I asked if the girls could come for a sleep over (because I needed lots of time to get just the right photos). And then I asked if they could also bring their ballet skirts and sequin princess dresses! Ha! Ha! The idea alone made this grandma giddy!
I recently moved into a new home, so I wasn’t sure which time of day would make the best lighting. With extra time, I would be prepared for both morning and afternoon window light.
As they changed into their tutus (at 7am!) on a Saturday morning, I moved the coffee table to give them more room on the rug floor, but I forgot to vacuum first! I couldn’t believe it!
After just a few minutes of twirling to music, the dust started to rise and show up in the sunlight coming from the large window!
Our wood stove creates more dust than I am used to. But how could I stop the girls and start vacuuming? Dancing was in full swing! I moved lamps and couch pillows and closed the closet doors to eliminate any visual distractions from my beautiful granddaughters. And after taking a few photos, grandma joined in the dancing too!
To my surprise, my best shots were from lying on the ground!
For those of you who are inspired to this photo recipe, check out Your Child in Pictures. Me Ra walks you through how to get these results, step-by-step.
These were my DSLR settings. My ISO was 1250 to keep their faces bright enough with the window as my back light. My aperture was f/3.2 to give me even more light and a blurry background. And my shutter speed was 1/200 of a second to freeze the action with all their twirling and laughing.
My photography goal was to highlight their sheer ballet and princess dresses like Me Ra teaches in Your Child in Pictures. I love the outcome and most important of all, we had the most fun together.
Are there any other grammies out there who love taking photos of their grandkids? Who have fallen in love with photography unexpectedly? If yes, I’d love to hear from you today! What do you like photographing? It’s both scary and exciting to start learning something new. But to empower other young moms with capturing their stories, encourage them in motherhood, find my own creative voice…the reward has definitely been worth the risk!
~laura (grammie with a giggle)