Local photographer Brittany Willingham captures childhood through a lens with her photography company named after her daughters, Evie Mae Photography. Cobb Life

Editor Katy Ruth Camp asked her to share some of her favorite photographs and talked with her about the adventures of trying to get that elusive great picture of a restless, unpredictable kid.

CL: How did you get into photography?

BW: I’ve always had a love for photography. I inherited a camera from my grandfather so, when my oldest daughter was born, I began using it to photograph her. My love for photography grew from there and I knew this was something I wanted to pursue. My grandfather always said, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” That statement is certainly true for me as a photographer.

CL: Why do you enjoy working with children the most?

BW: As a mother, it brings me joy to provide other parents with joyful and fun photos of their children. Childhood seems to come and go in a flash. It’s so important to capture our children’s genuine laughs, chubby little fingers, the gap in their teeth from the first lost tooth, and their individual expressions and mannerisms. I tell people all the time that no one regrets having photos of their family or children. You can look back at them forever and they can be passed down for generations. Childhood is such a magical time - I love giving parents something tangible to remind them of that magic.

CL: Kids are unpredictable, so I imagine you have some funny stories! Can you share some of those?

BW: Another reason I love photographing kids is because they are so funny. Parents often bribe their little ones with some sort of candy. One local mother used M&M’s to encourage her three older children to cooperate during a newborn session. She gave one of her sons an M&M and he immediately tried to pop it in the crying newborn baby’s mouth.

Another unforgettable moment happened at a local park. We were next to a beautiful little stream and the little boy was trying to put his toes in the water. His mom asked him to stop before he fell in. He turned around and sat down right in the water. He was completely soaked. Never a dull moment!

CL: For those moms and dads trying to get great photos everyday of their kids, what are some tips or tricks you can share?

BW: Kids need and want to move and interact. It’s not natural for kids to be still and offer a fake smile. Ask your child to tell a story - the expressions they’ll make are endless! Tell them a joke. Ask them to jump really high. Let them play with bubbles. Ask siblings questions that will make them laugh- who has the stinkiest feet? Who loves ice cream the most? Engaging with children and showing a genuine interest in what they love is sure to do the trick.

CL: You have three daughters of your own, do they like or get annoyed by you photographing them?

BW: They have come to love being photographed. I think they know they don’t have a choice anymore. They have gotten pretty good at ignoring the camera so I can usually get great candid shots of them. My girls love to see their photos in frames around our home.

CL: How can people follow or get in touch with you?

BW: My business Facebook page is Evie Mae Photography and my Instagram is @eviemaephoto. Clients and potential clients are welcome to email me at brittany@eviemaephoto.com, and my website is eviemaephoto.com.

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