Photographing newborns is one thing. Photographing children is quite another. I love them both, but they take different talents and a different sort of patience. Child photography rocks my world (in a good way). Really. I love figuring out kids, what they like, who they are, how they smile, how they don't smile, their particular expressions, their personalities...
I am not a big fan of over-posing children; I like them natural. Give a child just about anything -- a flower, a chair, a hat, a tutu, a box and see what happens.
Kids show themselves if they are comfortable in the space. They will shine through. If I offer a child a rubber duck and s/he grabs a truck, that's the shot I want. If we sing Baby Shark and the child claps, that's the shot I want. If the child prefers the Beatles and wants to dance, that's okay too. I am trying to take a portrait of who the child IS, not who I want the child to be or how I want the child to look.
When children haven't developed language skills beyond "no" and "mama" -- it can be challenging to figure out what exactly they want. Being patient helps. But it sure is fun to go with the flow. You want to let loose an 8 inch line of drool? Sure. You want to prance around the studio in your diaper? Okay. You want to crawl right up to the lens with a unicorn hat and peer in? I adore it. You want to hide behind a red balloon? Well, happy first birthday to you!