Spring has sprung and with it comes hope. I see hope in the lilac blossoms. I smell hope in the freshly mowed lawn. I hear hope in the ceaseless chatter of the birds. This time of year makes the future seem bright.
The toddler in my illustration is my great-niece, Kaley. She looked like a pocelain doll to me. I had to get her sweetness down on paper. I hunted for her vintage pinafore on-line and found the perfect one through a Mrs. Bird. I wanted to have her wearing something that set off her delicate features. After her mother dressed her, we plopped her on my kitchen table and I began snapping away with my camera. When photographing a baby, I am always loose with my vision for it. You just never know how they will cooperate. I took about twenty shots, and then Miss Kaley was done. Something else I’ve learned about working with little ones is that when they are through poising they are through. A smile can’t be coaxed out of a child who wants to move on.
After loading the shots on my computer, I immediately knew which image I would base my art on. The expression on Kaley’s face as she reached for her foot captured something magical to me. The butterfly and the outdoor scenery were fabricated. What couldn’t be fabricated is the wonder on my little model’s face.
Below is another photo I love. I snapped it while shooting a wedding for a dear friend’s daughter. At times I think this photo begs to be put into an illustration. At other times I think it stands fine just the way it is. I’m curious to know what you think about it. If you have a moment, leave me your thoughts.
All text and images © Sue Shanahan. All rights reserved.