While books can be for all ages (some very serious, and some not so), I wanted to keep it real once again with props in this photography session.
Girl with books photo
By the look on her face, a little shock at this massive reading list I created. Certainly not the same smile as in my previous keeping it real session with tools. Girl with books expressions real photoPlenty of expressions and deep thoughts going on here. I believe that's simply from keeping it real. No fakery with saying "smile" or "say cheese" and getting fake smiles. Trust me, there were real smiles. Some were hard to keep inside.Girl with books and chair photoOf course it wasn't all fun and games, so a serious tone can sometimes come over the subject.  In that case I usually find it's best to use a few secret weapons (keeping it real once again), or as a last result bring out the librarian to give an example of how it's done.Girl and baby wearing glasses with books photo


Boy with tools - keeping it realWhy not keep it real when photographing kids with props that show their true passions?  As a parent, it's fun watching your children grow and develop their own personality and interests.  One of my own passions is photographing my own children (go figure).  Of course someone who isn't his parent might quickly deduce that my son (pictured here) loves tools or building.  Everywhere we go, he insists on bringing more than a dozen plastic tools, his safety glasses, his work helmet and a toolbox with him, so most people usually take notice and say something to him.Boy with tools - keeping it real collage

When I had the idea to do this shoot, I told him about wanting to use real tools.  Did I mention that he only turned three last December?  So, his eyes opened real wide and he couldn't wait to get started.  And once we did, he had a blast with some silly tool-talk.  There's no fakery here, it's all real.  There's also no reason to say "smile" or "say cheese" to get a smile.  He had every reason to smile. Boy with tools - keeping it real

So, a general tip is to keep it real.  Why use generic props that just anyone could use?  Of course for the little princess, a legit diamond encrusted tiara might be a bit hard to come by.