Bethany has always loved having her photo taken (unless by some freaky tourist who follows her around trying to sneak shots here and there). She was privileged enough to feature in the September Edition of a local English parenting magazine here in Hong Kong – Playtimes. The actual photo shoot took place several months ago with amazing photographer Melanie Adamson.
Bethany doesn’t want to be a model (that I know of) but she does love fashion and has a couple of friends who regularly do fashion shoots so she did have some understanding of what takes place and what it is all about. Perhaps her (and my) reason for doing this shoot was a little different from most. This was an opportunity for my shy little girl to step outside her comfort zone and develop some inner confidence. She had to interact with strangers and perform in front of someone else’s camera. She had to take a risk. Whilst I encouraged her to take the opportunity ultimately SHE decided that she wanted to do this.
Heading into the shoot she was incredibly nervous and shy, however this didn’t last long. The stylist asked her to change into the first outfit and instantly Bethany had a grin (albeit still very nervous) across her face. My daughter loves clothes … LOVES clothes … ALMOST as much as she loves shoes.
In front of the camera for the first time you could easily see how nervous Bethany was but Melanie knew EXACTLY how to loosen Bethany and the other children up in a way that seemed to make the anxiousness just melt away. The girls on the shoot had genuine fun. They laughed and joked and used their imagination to create shot after shot.
Five changes of clothes later there were more than enough shots that could be used in the magazine but Bethany didn’t want it to end.
“I got to wear 5 different outfits,” she exclaimed as we headed back to the car, Bethany literally bouncing down the street bursting with self-satisfaction.
“That was soooo much fun! Can I do it again sometime?”
At this point I was floored. Not only had Bethany – my shy and someone nervous little sprog had the time of her life, she was also enthusiastic to do another photoshoot. Of course the caveat then came … “With Mel as the photographer right?”
I simply answered with the noncommittal “We’ll see.”
Internally I was elated that Bethany would suggest doing something like this again as it shows she is willing to be adventurous and come out of her shell a little. Bethany will always be shy but as she builds her own inner confidence it will help her cope with her shyness in the future and this is what this adventure was all about.
Poor Bethany had to wait several months to see the finished product – even more-so because not only were Summer holidays in the way, but the kids had filmed in front of a blank blackboard using their imagination. The artwork was placed on afterwards. For example: the kite in the photo below wasn’t there; it was added in post-production.
On the day the magazine came out we ventured through numerous suburbs looking for a copy, eventually finding one in Mid-Levels. The excitement bubbled over as Bethany got to see the photos in print for the first time. She proudly showed us her photos in all their glossy glory. She relived the memories of the shoot and delighted in taking a copy to school to show her teacher. Since the shoot we have noticed Bethany’s confidence and independence build in leaps and bounds. I am sure her experience has helped play a part . The beauty of this is she has a physical and tactile copy of her involvement in the photo shoot on which to look back and remind her of what she can achieve.
Bethany has learnt she can do anything she wants if she is just willing to give it a go!
Photographs used with kind permission from Melanie Adamson Photography. (If you’re looking for a GREAT photographer to do family portraits then talk to this lady! (and no – she isn’t paying me to say this)