Can your 11-year-old do this?

Recently, I hired my 11-year-old to be my photographer and shoot assistant. It went even better than expected, so I thought I’d write about it and share the idea so others can do it, too.

For my blog post about my quest for the perfect olive jacket, I knew I needed great shots of each jacket. For my ego’s sake, I preferred the idea of flattering photos in a pretty location rather than boring selfies or awkwardly staged timed shots.

And, as long-time readers know, I’ll stop at almost nothing to get my kiddo out in nature with me.

For all of these reasons, on a sunny spring morning, I asked Z if they would like to accompany me to beautiful Inniswood Metro Gardens for a photo shoot. I’d take photos of them, they could take photos of me, and all would be in gorgeous natural surroundings.

“No thanks,” they replied, barely looking up from their phone. “Sounds boring.”

Ah ha! You might be thinking I was disappointed by now, but I wasn’t – I had expected this. Tweens don’t always want to hang with their parentals – sometimes they need encouragement. Enticement. Even flat-out bribes.

“Hey Xage, you asked how you can make some money around the house… what if I hire you to be my photographer, creative director and shoot assistant? How much would you charge me for an hour or two of your time to take pics, help me with wardrobe and set up the perfect shot for five separate jackets and locations?”

They suggested $20 an hour. I happily accepted. And that’s how I ended up spending $40 on all the photos you saw in my olive jacket blog post.

But you know what? It was two of the most fun hours Xage and I have spent together in recent times. I absolutely loved their ideas. They inspired me to try poses and shoot locations I never would have come up with on my own.

We ended up with a really amazing mix of close-ups and distance shots that show off the jackets, the gorgeous gardens and little old me in the best ways possible. I never could have gotten quality shots like this by myself, with hubby or even with the help of a friend.

Bottom line, these Gen Z whiz kids are better at staging and taking photos and videos than Gen Xers like myself could ever hope to be.

My shot ideas were all pretty typical: stand in front of these pretty tulips. Pose a couple of different ways with hands on hips or hands in pockets.

Xage had so many more creative ideas – like duck under this tree limb, lean against this trunk and put your hand up here on this branch. The photos here are just one example of X showing off a pose first so I could copy their styling. Great shot, isn’t it?! There are so many other examples. And there were a few that worked for X but didn’t work for me – like perching up on top of a rock. What can I say, I hate heights.

This was such a fun morning together that we wouldn’t have had otherwise. Xage got to show off their mad skills and earn some much-needed cash to keep growing their crystal collection, and I got the enjoyment of a photoshoot with my darling enby, plus some excellent content to share to my blog and social profiles. Talk about a win-win.

Have you begun to tap into the special skills and abilities your own kids have? It’s pretty amazing the way we’ve created these unique young people with talents and gifts that may be totally different from our own. I definitely plan to hire Xage again for more photo and video shoots – why not make use of all this talent right in my own home!

If you’re ever in need of a photographer, shoot assistant or wardrobe and props master, hit me up. I can put you in touch with a very creative young soul who just might rock your world the way they continue to rock mine.

About the author

Proud and loving midlife mama. Lucky and devoted wife. Dog, cat, snake and guinea pig mom. Travel nut. Writer since birth. PR and social media pro by day - tattoo doula by night.

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