Oct 31, 2017

Halloween 2017: An Escape to Wonderland

by NAPCP member Melissa Zimmer, of MZ Photography

1. Inspiration

We’re in the middle of what many photographers refer to as “the busy season”. It can be easy to lose focus during this time, and I’ve found one of the best ways to regain the passion and energy is to focus on my family for a few days. The small break from client session has always reinvigorated my love for photography and made the second half of the fall season enjoyable.

I also used this as a great reason to explore a few new spots in my area. Part of photographer fatigue can come from being at the same location week after week and I wanted to use these shots as trial for a new spot. And I was really pleased with the results.

So, for this year’s ‘break’ I decided I wanted to take my children’s Halloween pictures earlier than normal. This is the first year since my youngest was an infant the two girls were wearing themed costumes and I couldn’t have been more excited. It was the perfect reason for a session. Together, we were going to explore Wonderland.

2. Favorite Element

I love the vibrant light from the sunset behind both girls. It was really a great capture of the fall colors (which are finally starting to show here in Chicago) and showcase a magical, dreamlike state. It works perfectly with our Wonderland theme.

I also love both of my kid’s interpretations of their characters. I let them lead me through the shoot by asking questions. One of my favorite shots is my youngest (the Cheshire Cat) doing her best Cheshire Cat impression. She couldn’t stop laughing after and neither could I. Safe to say, we had a lot of fun capturing these memories.

3. Biggest Challenge

Letting the kids lead. I really wanted to capture their real interpretations of these two characters they both love so much. I didn’t want to direct (well, too much), but rather observe and capture those beautiful little moments. It was a lot harder than I thought.

My oldest (Alice) really wanted to incorporate this tea cup that was my grandmother’s. It’s a very special tea cup to me, and I also thought it would be special to use, but I was incredibly worried about it breaking. In the end, I allowed her to bring it and we found a bed of leaves for her to hold it over. Then, she had the creative idea to grab a picture of the tea cup in the bed of leaves.

4. Final Thoughts

It’s so important to let go of control sometimes – you can be really surprised and impressed with the results! That tea cup picture I mentioned above, well it turned out to be one of my favorites. Because it combined two meaningful things in my life – my little girl and my grandmother. It’s a picture I’ll forever cherish.

Life can get busy and stressful, for everyone. It’s important to take time out and capture personal memories. Sometimes all you need is a quick escape to Wonderland.

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About the Contributor: Melissa caught the photography bug from her grandfather - who was an avid photographer. He explained the importance of capturing life\'s special moments. melissa incorporates that Philosophy into each and every session.


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