Capturing Personalities In Portraits ~ The Portrait Rodeo

The Portrait Rodeo

For some of you, especially those of you with young children, the thought of having family portraits created makes your hands clammy and fills you with more dread than a root canal. I understand.

Children have abundant stores of energy and usually choose to release bursts at the most unexpected times. These bursts often bring about fits of laughter in those of us who are friends and grandparents, but generally, parents feel that getting those kiddos to behave is like wresting a rodeo steer. You prepare to wrangle them and tire them out.

Capturing Personalities in Portraits

When the time comes for taking that trip to see me, here are a few tips for getting the best portraits of your children that you’ll cherish forever.

I know I’m not the only one who laughs at silly family portraits online. You know what I’m talking about; those awkward family photos. Everyone is trying to be so serious while one child is knuckle deep in his nasal cavity. Consider this: Staid and static is boring.

With me, playfulness is encouraged.


Here’s my suggestion to parents of toddlers and young children before we start our photo session. Don’t expect your kids to suddenly become little robots, who will sit still until you give them the command to move.

The expressiveness and unabashed nature of a child is really what we want to capture. When your adorable rambunctious 4-year-old has grown up and suddenly breaks out the old photo album, laughter trumps cringing any day of the week.

During the time I spend behind the lens with the children, I want to not only see, but feel their energy and personality in the finished portraits. Believe me. You’ll thank me later.

Remember, our precious babes are small for such a short period of time. It’s so much more fun to capture that magic together and then enjoy your portraits for a lifetime.

Can’t You Just Settle Down?

What I encourage parents to understand is not to expect the tykes to settle down. How has that worked the rest of the time? I thought so. Let them have fun with the whole process. There will come a day when your kids will stand still and smile in front of the camera. That might not be today.

My motto is: If they want to run, let ‘em run… and jump… and twirl. Let them burn off the excess energy. If that expressiveness is stifled, you better believe it’ll show up in the pictures.

To sum this all up, kids will be kids. Every moment is fleeting and never to be repeated. Try to relax and enjoy the ride.

As they grow older, you’ll long for these days. Enjoy their exuberance and innocence. Make memories for your children by letting their personalities shine like diamonds in these photos.

Do a little exercise for me now. Think about what brings you joy. I bet a screaming and crying child was not conjured.

So, in order to set you up for success for your next family portrait session, do these things I suggest. You will love your family’s portraits displayed on your wall!

Wouldn’t you like your memories to reflect the sweet, silly and fun time you spent with your family in front of the camera? I thought so.

Capturing Personalities in Portraits!

Let’s create a fun session for you and your family.

For Portrait Ideas, check out my galleries here
Portraits Ideas

I am a Southern California based Portrait and Fine Art Photographer who sees the world a bit differently.

You can view more of my work here
Donna Edman Photography

To schedule a session or chat about your Family Portrait experience, call me! 
(714) 746-2418

Together, we can capture YOUR FAMILY’S LIFE, One Image at a Time!

May Day is Here!

May Day is celebrated each year on May 1st.

Since the 1800s, in America the tradition is to leave a paper basket or cone with spring flowers and sweets on each other’s doorsteps.  This tradition is especially popular with children or sweethearts.  The custom is to knock on the door, yell “May Basket!” and then run.

Who can you bless with a May Basket?

A very special gift is a bouquet of flowers from your own garden.
For additional pretty basket ideas and other fun handmade gifts to share, check this out.

I invite you to gather a few flowers and sweets, and then place them in a paper basket or cone, or a woven basket, and share it with your neighbor.

What better way is there to show you care on this May Day!

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I am a Southern California based Portrait and Fine Art Photographer who sees the world a bit differently.

You can view more of my work here > Donna Edman Photography.
If you’d like to book a session or commission a fine art photograph,
I’d be honored > Contact Me
or call me (714) 746-2418

Together, we can capture the beauty of YOUR LIFE, One Image at a Time!

Craft Your Heart Out

I found these fabulously fun Valentine craft ideas at “Sign Up Genius” and want to share them with you!

A simple heart shape can be created out of almost any material and says love in any size and color you desire for your card. 

  1. Sweethearts – Use candy to create and paste heart shapes on your cards and packages. Conversation and cinnamon hearts work well for these.
  2. Blended Hearts – Using markers or colored pencils, create areas of bright, blended colors across a page of white or colored cardstock. Then cut hearts from the best parts of the paper to attach to handmade cards and to use as gift tags.
  3. Magazine Hearts – Find your favorite colors and interesting patterns from pages of old magazines and start cutting all sorts of shapes and sizes.
  4. Mosaic Hearts – Your local craft store has colorful stones and glass pieces made specifically for creating a mosaic. Want a full nature experience? Paint hearts on stones you find while adventuring outside.
  5. Tissue Paper Hearts – You probably have leftover tissue paper in different colors and patterns stashed away. Cut out a variety of shapes and sizes to embellish cards and notes. These are great for paper mosaic cards as well.
  6. Stringing Them Along Hearts – Use string, ribbon, or yarn to create hearts as well as cupid and arrow designs.
  7. Bubble Wrap Hearts – Cut whimsical hearts from the squishy packing material to paste on cards or artwork.
  8. Torn Hearts – Try a variety of papers and colors and start tearing for very natural and interesting heart shapes.
  9. Heart Stamps – They’re always available at the craft store, along with ink pads in favorite Valentine’s colors.
  10. Heart Art – Use watercolors to paint beautiful hearts on paper or card stock. Then get creative with materials like glitter, stickers, puff paint or markers. Gift your masterpiece to a special someone!

Gather the kiddos around the table and have some memory building fun!

I am a Southern California based Portrait and Fine Art Photographer who sees the world a bit differently.

You can view more of my work here > Donna Edman Photography.
If you’d like to book a Family Portrait or Couples Session
I’d be honored > Contact Me
or call me (714) 746-2418

Together, we can capture YOUR LIFE, One Image at a Time!

Family Christmas Traditions in 2020

This year certainly has been an opportunity to focus on family togetherness. Here are ideas to review the year and embrace traditions, old or new.

First, set aside a time for everyone to sit down together and create a list of how you’ve grown as a family. It’s meaningful to chat and see these ideas in writing.

What did you do this year together that was new or special? Have you started a family tradition? Perhaps it’s eating meals together again at the table. Perhaps you began riding bikes or playing board games or creating crafts or learning an instrument. Have you simply been more “fully present” with your loved ones?

Christmas traditions

For our family, it has been a year of the unexpected and of blessings. Here are 10 of my favorite Family Traditions!

  1. Give a tree ornament that represents your child’s interest each year, and then save them to present as a special gift when they leave home.
  2. Make a Christmas Playlist of your favorite songs.
  3. Make a pillow case with Christmas theme fabric, used only in December each year.
  4. Create Christmas cards and wrapping paper.
  5. Make cookies or candies from a family recipe (or create your own traditional recipe), only made in December.
  6. Make a Family Bucket List for things to do by the end of the year.
  7. Have a Christmas Movie Night to watch a favorite holiday movie only watched in December.
  8. Drive to see Christmas lights.
  9. Attend a Christmas Eve service or read the Christmas Story from the Bible and sing Carols.
  10. Create a Family Portrait!

Christmas socks

If you are looking for more Christmas Tradition ideas, Carly the “Mommy On Purpose” has a great blog. You can read her entire list here: 30 Memory Making Family Christmas Traditions To Start In 2020

This is been a year of uncertainty and yes, even a bit crazy. But… It has been a year of togetherness and a year to build traditions!

Wishing you and your family a holiday filled with love and traditions.


Blog flourish

I am a Southern California based Portrait and Fine Art Photographer who sees the world a bit differently.


You can view more of my work here > Donna Edman Photography.
If you’d like to book a session, I’d be honored > Contact Me
or call me (714) 746-2418

Together, we can Capture YOUR Life, One Image at a Time!