Apple “Picking” at Deardorff Orchards

Photographer offers tips to parents.

While spring may be a top contender for her favorite season for photography, Christine Neff Kojetin says, “For frequency of shooting, nothing beats fall—the colors, the weather and the activities.  We are really active in the fall—apple picking, corn mazes, fall color hikes and pumpkin picking all make it in the rotation.”

Each fall, Neff Kojetin and her family visit Deardorff Orchards and Winery in Waconia. “Apples for the kids and wine for the mom,” she quips. A day in the pastoral orchard provided Neff Kojetin with bountiful opportunities to capture “the shot.”  During the visit, she had a bit of an agenda. “My Nikon D750 is strapped on pretty much everywhere we go, especially during the fall,” Neff Kojetin says. “My kids (Andrew, 6, and Alexandra, 9) were running through the vineyards next to the apple orchards, and I had this vision of a great shot of them walking hand in hand down the path.”

Neff Kojetin was hopeful the image would translate into the family’s Christmas card, however, “There was no way my daughter was going to hold my son’s hand—gross!” she says.  After a brilliant bit of mothering (“I bribed them both with a promise of chocolate, (so) I got a successful shot.”), “We took several hand-in-hand walks down the row until I felt I got ‘the shot,’” she says. “I noticed that as they did the walk over and over, the apples got smaller, so I asked them to turn around, and this is what I got,” she says of the image of the children munching on apples. “Pretty spontaneous on their part,” she says.

While taking their own holiday pictures, parents might want to heed some of Neff Kojetin’s  advice. “Don’t try to pose them (too much); capture them in their natural state,” she says of children. “Let them be the ‘director’ if they want. When they feel part of the process, they tend to cooperate more.”