Cheryl’s pictures from Dollywood

Apparently Cheryl and the children made a trip to Dollywood yesterday because she has posted some pictures of the children on her Flickr photostream.  However, for some legitimate reasons, those pictures are made visible only to Family and Friends who have Flickr accounts and are so designated.  So while I can point you to her photostream, you won’t see the children’s pictures there. 

She did a nice job, though, of shooting them and I marked several as favorites because she caught the children with nice smiles that didn’t appear too affected or strained.  The pictures were posed rather than candid shots, but despite that, the expressions she captured were very nice, and of course the advantage one has of staging a picture is that you can have some interesting settings and other elements in the picture that enhance it and make it suitable for framing or sending away to Grandma. 

This one of Connor, for instance, is a keeper and would make a nice cover for a Halloween card, if we sent cards out for that holiday like we do for Christmas.  I’m amazed that Cheryl was able to get him to sit still and to look into the camera with a smile on his face long enough to take the picture.  At almost 18 months old, he is energetic and therefore not inclined to pose, but he has been photographed a lot since his birth, so perhaps even at this young age he may have learned the art of holding still for the camera.  On the other hand, his mother may have threatened him with torture to within an inch of his life to get the picture, but if she did, I certainly don’t want to know that. 😉  Obviously I’m kidding, because I know she would never do that. 

This picture of Kaitlin, though posed, has a nice casual look to it.  Since Cheryl is a beautician, in addition to her primary job with Morgan Stanley, I was surprised that she would find it acceptable to take the picture with that loose strand of hair that you see, but to me that makes the picture better rather than worse.  And I like the fact that Kaitlin isn’t straining to smile.  Sometimes just looking pleasant is better that grinning, as my Grandfather used to say, “like a possum eatin’ briars.”

In this picture of Morgan, I think Cheryl got the hat trick — three great shots, all on the same day.  Again, it is a posed picture, as is obvious from the surroundings, but Morgan is showing a natural, beautiful smile, and I think that kind of thing makes all the difference in the world in a photograph.  Learning to allow yourself to be photographed naturally is a skill some people never acquire.  I suppose the advent of digital photography and because of that the resurgence of photography as a hobby may make this generation of children more accustomed to being photographed and may result in a much better photographic record of their youth that I’m sure they will treasure when they are older.  One other great thing about having photographs such as these in digital format is that they won’t fade through the years or if you print a copy to share with your family and it does fade, you can just print another. 

I’m very impressed with Cheryl’s skill at getting these pictures.  It shows that Mike isn’t the only photographer in the family.

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