When people hear I have two sons the first thing they often say is 'You must get great photos!' And the answer is 'Yes... and no...' Mostly no, to be honest. As far as my kids are concerned I'm not a hired professional they have to be good for, I'm just mum, bothering them again with another camera. I have more photos of them pulling faces, bickering, rolling around the floor or pressing their faces against the camera trying to see me down the lens than I care to admit to but needless to say it's a lot. A LOT.
The advantage of this is I've learned to be very quick and developed my own tricks to try to capture the best few seconds you might get out of a reluctant small person (I'm not above waving a cookie just above the lens to get a brief smile and eye contact). I've also learned that to get the best photos with children is to get down on the floor and engage with them. Standing back, asking them to look this way and smile gets you just that. A rictus grin and a rigid child. Sitting on the ground with them, showing them your camera and what you're going to do with it, engaging and playing with them gets the best results for me.
If you have the luxury of standing back and letting them forget you're there (which usually takes a whole afternoon to be honest) can produce magical results too. Candid shots are always wonderful. Candid shots of kids playing are the best!
For this particular set of photos, I hadn't planned on taking many pictures. I brought the camera in the car on the off chance that we might get a snap or two on our walk around Lough Talt. Lough Talt is one of my favourite spots, just the far side of the Sligo boarder via the Windy Gap. My mother's uncle, Father Ambrose McLoughlin was the parish priest who lived in the house overlooking the lake so we spent a lot of time there as kids. Between hills to climb, sheep to scope and bother, ponies to pet, tadpoles to ogle and lakes to throw stones in my own children thoroughly enjoy it too. It's just always going to be one of my favourite locations.
So here are my reluctant, long suffering models being unusually cooperative on an impromptu hill walk around Lough Talt!