I, myself, have this fear with my little one too! I’ve been there, I get it. You’re investing in the photography session, you got Timmy’s hair cut, and bought everyone a completely new wardrobe. Dad even got new socks! You want the photos to turn out perfectly. If one thing is for certain it’s this: babies, toddlers, kids, and teens all have one thing in common, they’re unpredictable!
So here are 5 quick tips to make you say, “well that was easy!” at the end of your photoshoot.
And when I say talk, I mean to talk it up! Tell them you’re going on a fun adventure. Most of the time this is true! Go ahead and tell them a silly lady will be taking photos of them! Tell them it’ll be really fun instead of telling them they have to smile and be a good boy/girl, etc. Say the word fun over and over. By the time of your session, your child will likely be ready to have a lot of fun! And don’t you worry, I like to play more than I like to pose!
With children, and really with any photoshoot, my favorite thing is to prompt you to do things to capture the authenticity of your family. Instead of posing you, I’ll simply capture you. (But don’t worry, I will direct you, fix your hair, and make sure Mom looks the best cause that’s most important, am I right?!) I may ask Dad to toss a little one up in the air, have everyone join in a game of tickle-town, or I may even have you scream out silly words like “BOOGER” on the count of three. Anything I can do to capture a smile, believe me, I do! Coming prepared to be silly, and join in the silliness yourself, will definitely create a fun environment for your children!
A quick distraction can help lift a child’s mood. It will also help comfort your child if they’re a little shy. In my opinion, there’s nothing much cuter than a little one posed with their favorite toy. I personally LOVE the photos I have with my daughter’s favorite stuffed pig. An aspect of her childhood I will never forget!
It’s not just us mama’s who get hangry. 🙂 Everyones a bit happier with a full belly! If it doesn’t make sense to eat a full meal prior to our time together, make sure to give an extra healthy snack instead. Give your child a snack that will give them the good kind of energy. Feel free to bring something along, too! Secondly, bring a water bottle, a juice box, a sippy cup, or a bottle with you as well. Especially for those hot steamy summer sessions.
I once got a tip from a fellow photographer to use mini marshmallows as treats for little ones because they’re white! Leaves no mess on those cute little smiles! With Mom & Dad’s permission, I will happily hand out marshmallows or fruit snacks as rewards. I may even make a game out of it! You can also bribe your child, I give you permission. Make a date out of it and go out for dinner or treats after!
Tips aside, it is my job to make your session run smoothly. I have dealt with all sorts of children in my years of experience and pride myself on getting them to warm up, it just sometimes takes a little bit of time, which is totally okay! The best thing you can do is to not stress about how your photos will turn out and not be too concerned but just enjoy the moments as they happen and remember to SMILE, Mama!