Photographer Noe Dewitt has made his career taking pictures of models and celebrities for magazines and ad campaigns such as Sperry Top-Sider, Macy's, LL Bean, J Crew, Cole Haan, 7 For All Mankind, Ann Taylor, and Max Mara.
Since having his first child almost five years ago, Noe's fashion-focused photography has evolved into a more fun and light aesthetic. Says Noe, "most of my personal work these days consists of my own children and their friends. As a father, I am fortunate to experience their 'world' all the time. My kids have shown me a world that I don't think I could have gotten to on my own."
When I think of child photography, a haunting memory of Sears' studio glamor shots with a clown standing behind the lens flashing a dingy squeak-toy first comes to mind. So appropriately my first reaction upon hearing that Noe has
created a new kids portfolio is, "How did he get them to do that?!" Noe jokes that "of course a fart noise will almost always work if you want a smile, but sometimes you want the daydream, and that is only something you can capture when they are really doing it." He adds that "all kids are so different from one another, so you really have to talk to [them] first and see if they're shy, outgoing, hyper, etc." A trick he uses to get some of the less talkative kids going is he'll "ask if they have any siblings, and that always opens the door to conversation and the spotlight tends to go off them and onto a different subject like their brother or sister".
Even if you get a kid to converse with you, you're lucky to get them to sit long enough or keep their mouth closed and their eyes open for more than a few shots. "I'd like to think that I capture the 'kid within the kid," says Noe. "I try not to make the kids into something that they are not- I don't like it when people try to make them into adults or have adult behavior. The best thing about kids is that they are usually uninhibited and carefree, so if you direct them too much they can become shy or guarded. If you guide them just a little, they can take off in their own playful and imaginative way. Kids know how to be natural, so I let them."
The children in Noe's photographs bring smiles to everyone's faces. He gets right into the action. He is not afraid to get paint splattered on him or sand in his shoes. There is not a glint of fear or despair in their eyes. It's safe to say that Noe's success in getting children to not only look at the camera, but to make them look like they are genuinely having a good time is due to this newly acquired job as a daddy.
"I guess you could say I shoot on my knees a lot these days! And the world has become a much bigger place as we remember it to be when we were little kids ourselves."Click here to see Noe Dewitt's new Kids Portfolio