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Guest Column

Capture the Tween Years

Mallika Malhotra of mikifoto

Thursday, April 3, 2014 • 1:44pm

Photograph your newborn. Absolutely.  Book a family photo session with your toddlers.  Definitely.  Schedule your high school senior’s portrait. Of course! Capture your tween. What? Why would you want to remember that awkward stage?

Tweens are defined as persons between the ages of 8-12.  They are literally in-between child and teen. It is a tumultuous stage with lots of emotional and physical changes. Parents often avoid photographing their tweens because portraits aren’t picture perfect with braces, growth spurts and uncooperative skin.  Plus, the tween mood swings are unpredictable. Some days, tweens act like children wanting to hug you and the next day, they are slamming the door for their privacy.

Despite the challenges of this age group, I encourage parents to celebrate these last moments of childhood. It is important to photograph your tween with their friends, playing sports and engaged in hobbies because this pre-teen stage is short and sweet. Here are some of my top reasons to capture these wonder years.

 

This is the last stage our kids will be kids.  With our overscheduled schedules, the days go fast. The next thing we know is our kids have grown up overnight and start to look and act like teens.  It happens so quickly! Take the time to celebrate this tender age and all its quirkiness.  This is the last time your kids will easily sit on your lap, let you tickle them, let you zip up their jacket, or do their hair…  We all want to remember it! 

 

Photography helps boost this younger set’s self esteem.  Let’s be honest – puberty is rough! Who wouldn’t want to be the focus of attention and photographed like a model? Taking pictures at this age, especially for girls, is a great way for them to feel GOOD about themselves.  They leave confident and happy with themselves. Now that is a gift that we all want for our young girls.  

Short Hills Mom, Debra Cooper shares, “Photos truly capture that moment in time between a young girl and a young woman. A time where friends are their lives and feeling good about themselves is what truly matters. I think you have taken the concept of “selfie” to a whole other level!”

Best Friends mean everything to this age group.  Do you remember how close you were to your 10 year old BFF? You wanted to spend every minute with them from school time to sleepovers.  Friendship is a lifeline during this turbulent tween time.  Capture and celebrate those important friendships! Your child will thank you in years to come.

“My daughter's confidence soared following the session. And she and her

friend have shared a unique bonding moment!” claims Eileen Fedronis, a Maplewood Mom.

Our kids are growing up way too fast these days! The only way to slow down time is to capture the moment.  Grab your cameras and focus on your tween. Connect with them with photography. Tweens will love the opportunity to be themselves and cherish the attention. This short window of childhood will soon pass and they will be on their way to becoming independent young adults.

About the Author : Energetic photographer, Mallika Malhotra of www.mikifoto.com, takes a fun approach to child and family photography. Instead of picture perfect portraits, she says bring on the chaos and she will find the beauty within it. Her love for children shines through in her colorful and cheerful photos. If you are interested in a tween photo experience that is confidence boosting and super memorable, please contact Mallika at mallika@mikifoto.com or 352.682.2533 for more information.

 The Guest Column is our readers' opportunity to write about a given issue or topic in an in-depth and educational manner.

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