What prompted your desire to join the Little Icons team?
KF: I have always been drawn toward real/authentic/lifestyle photography where a person is captured in their natural element. When I had my first son in 2017 I new immediately that I wanted to get a portrait of him captured, not only for a beautiful photo to display in our home, but also to remember his unique little expression and view of the world. There was so much magic in his eyes & joy in his spirit - I wanted nothing more than for that to be captured - and Little Icons is what did that for me. When I got to witness Ashley taking his portrait and how subtle her cues were in allowing my little guy to simply “be” in front of the camera - it was hard for me to not to beg to join the team that very day! I wanted to do the exact same thing. To allow littles in front of me - no matter the age - to feel “enough” in their session by simply being themselves, and celebrating what makes them unique.
How long have you been creating these portraits?
KF: I joined the team in April 2021 and can’t wait to celebrate being with the team for 10 years in 2031 ;)
Before you started with Little Icons, what was your experience with studio lighting?
KF: My studio lighting skills were very limited and was my one true hesitation when dreaming of joining the team. I have always promoted myself as a lifestyle/natural light photographer (with the occasional OCF for a wedding/dark room) - but never formally got trained with studio lighting prior to Little Icons. Ashley took me under her wing, did NOT make me feel like a total misfit with my lack of knowledge, and guided me in the ways with studio Portrait Lighting ALL OVER ZOOM! Her personal knowledge as well as the manual she created for Little Icons helped me immensely in learning - and like all things, time and practice teaches all. The more I shoot/create/capture the more confident I feel - and now almost a year in, it’s starting to feel a bit more second nature & a super mobile child doesn’t scare me! Bring it on!
What was your biggest challenge with lighting, any tips to share?
KF: I am such a perfectionist & like a true enneagram 3, I want to only share the best images/not appear like an imposture in my title as a photographer. My biggest challenge was setting my pride aside & to allow feedback to wash over me as I learned an entirely new skill - which can feel scary/like I might feel caught for “not being good enough.” BUT SURPRISE! My philosophy is now this: When it comes to Little Icons - it’s the children, the authenticity, and the relationship you get to build with a child that is the most important - the rest can be taught!
What is one thing you wish you knew when you started shooting with Little Icons?
KF: Don’t be afraid to learn new things. (In regards to studio lighting/etc.) The skills WILL come & your confidence will slowly but surely grow! It’s a privilege to capture these littles.
What is one of your proudest moments in a session?
KF: During a session I had a pair of siblings. One was extremely confident during his session and the other sibling was much more reserved/nervous. I quickly realized during his session that he felt like he wasn’t as “good looking” or “handsome” as his brother when his family stepped away for our time together - and it was my greatest joy to watch him open up as I began to subtly compliment all of his features that I thought were beautiful. He was around 5 years old and walked away with such a happy spirit after his session ended. I hope he always remembers that someone in the world thinks he is enough just the way he is.
Biggest melt down/challenging situation that you conquered and how did you do it?
KF: I had a session with a little girl once who cried buckets of tears for 97% of her session. It was just a harder day for her/her session didn’t align with nap-time/etc - and the “win” in this session more than anything was reminding the parent of this child that this is absolutely okay - and we will celebrate the calm moments! This is not a reflection of a parent’s parenting or makes a child a “bad kid” because they cried. This gallery ended up being so dynamic and we got a handful of shots in between tears that were priceless/so genuine as she navigated her emotions. (Also singing every song I knew and giving her a snack always helps to stop the tears for just a few moments.) ;)
Most rewarding moment?
KF: I once got to capture a pair of siblings with genetic disabilities & their condition was noticeable physically. They were the absolute sweetest children & again, I think my time with them & my subtle compliments specifically on the things I loved about them stated during their session left them feeling so beautiful. The most rewarding thing is seeing a child/children realize that they are truly unique & beautiful.