Beautiful Bella

A challenge that I have had in my photography is taking pictures of people. 
Still life is comfortable and non-threatening for me. 
Sticking a camera in someone's face just seems odd, even rude. 
Years ago while in London with my original film Canon SLR I took some snaps of a hugely interesting character on the street. When he saw me, he came right at me with his overcoat flapping and his long, grey hair moving wildly around his face. He was not happy with me taking his picture and had no problem telling me how he felt. Honestly, he scared me silly!
Even with that experience, street photography still intrigues me. It takes the personal element out of portraits. 
But, I digress....and yet it's related.
People...portraits...seeking to capture the essence of a person as I see them and hopefully as they see themselves, that is what I enjoy.

My challenge has been to become more comfortable with taking pics of people I know.
I realized that I no longer wanted to hide from the challenge back in April when I offer to take some pics of one of our girls and our latest granddaughter. I was not happy with the results...there wasn't one good pic from the session with a girl who the camera normally loves. My inexperience and insecurities came through in all the shots instead of her beauty and love for her new baby girl. Since then I've read articles, books, blogs and talked with others in an attempt to overcome my fears and inadequacies.
What I've learned: 
When I relax and my subject will relax as well.
Light is everything...find the right light and get out of the way.
Talk, have fun, play.
Keep it simple...
I use my 60mm f/2.8 lens & keep the f stop at 3.5.
I use the AV (aperture priority) to get that wonderful DOF (deep of field or background blur) that I love.
I snap away as long as we are having fun...once the magic is over, whether 1 pic or 100 pics, we are done.

So here is a recent session with Grand #3...beautiful Bella.
I hadn't seen her since the end of I didn't know if it would be possible to get any shots. The last thing I wanted was to scare her or have the camera  create a distance between us. I wanted time with her. What I ended up with was an unforgettably fun, interactive time with the bonus of capturing who this precious child is. I learned so much in that hour... 

Take a look, and tell me what you think...
 In the beginning I showed her some of the pictures I was taking of her. She loved this and later asked for the above pic  to be taken, "take one of D. bunny and me sucking my thumb." 
 Those of us who know and love Bella KNOW how much she loves D. bunny.
This session was at a Starbucks. 
Bella hadn't had her nap.
I hadn't seen her in over four months.
There was no prompting or posing...
And I love the results!