Why it’s important to capture a young person’s passion in photographs

When my children were little we always made an effort to register them for a variety of sports. Not only to keep my preschoolers busy and to encourage them to fall asleep at night (please just go to sleep!) but also because I had heard from other parents that as kids get older they have less interest in trying a variety of activities. Sure enough, as my boys have gotten older and have begun to find their favourite things to do I find them spending hours every week doing their top picks. It has been incredible to watch their interests develop and their passions become narrowed as they are all now clearly such different individuals with their own unique interests.


The joy of watching them pursue their varied sports and hobbies has inspired me to begin offering sessions for older children and youth centered on their own passions and interests. As children grow older and discover more about who they are it becomes clear their personality is reflected in the sports and activities they choose to do. Sessions for athletes, musicians, artists and other extracurricular endeavours are an opportunity to celebrate who they are and a chance to capture their passion for the sport they love.

Young soccer player

Participating in a sport while growing up offers many things to a child or teen, far beyond just a means to keep their body healthy and active. Organized sport gives your child a place beyond their school and home that they can learn to challenge themselves and create goals that will help them both now and later as they learn life skills and build their feelings of confidence.


Adolescence and pre-adolescence tends to be a time where self-confidence is wavering and not at its strongest. Sports not only provides children with those feel good endorphins to help push past those doubts but it also gives them a sense of pride that they have a sport they have skill in and that they can call their own. By incorporating a preteen’s or teen’s sport into their session their growing self-confidence is clearly reflected in their photographs through the love of their sport. The awkward smiles and the self conscious looks that are often present when photographing this age group easily melts away when they’re able to be photographed with the sport that makes them feel so good.

Young hockey player

I know many of our sporting children now spend seemingly more time with their teammates than they do with us as a family (though we do get more one on one time on the way to practices!). With that shift in how we spend our time we may worry about how much we have of it together but I really think the shift can be good thing. As our children grow older they expand their circle of people that are important to them and their teams offer them a social network that is different beyond what our families can give them. Their sport can give them close friendships, teach them teamwork, and create lifelong memories that they will always look back on positively. This part of your child’s life will always be special to them and I feel it’s important to capture it in beautiful photographs that they will be proud to share and also treasure long after they have grown up.

My sessions are for athletes and those pursuing their passions are styled according to your preferences for poses as well as your individual child’s own unique interests and personality. I enjoy getting to know my younger clients during their sessions and also love to make the session an enjoyable and stress-free experience for them. I will incorporate props from their sport(s) or hobby as well as their uniforms and athletic clothing to create a beautiful gallery of images for you to select your favourite photographs from. Once you have chosen your images I will hand edit, retouch, and artistically enhance them to create quality photographs that you and your child will love to share with your family and friends. Included in all of my sessions are heirloom quality prints to ensure you have photographs to share after your session and to display in your home.


I am so looking forward to meeting more wonderful athletes, artists, musicians and other talented, enthusiastic children and teens this upcoming year. I am excited to be offering my new Extraordinary You Sessions this Winter for families who would like their child’s or teen’s photos to include their favourite passion.

Extraordinary You Memories Sessions (20 minutes) can be styled for one child/teen to include their hobby or sport (e.g. uniform, props) in addition to photos of them in a favourite outfit.

To book one of these special sessions please head to my boutique here!

young soccer player Young hockey player

Sara McConnell Photography ~ Ottawa Child and Youth Photos