The annual family photo session is a week away. You’ve bought the matching white polo shirts for everyone and a frilly denim skirt for your daughter. But you’re stressed. These sessions are always a nightmare. The kids get grumpy and won’t smile. You hope that this year’s session goes better than last year’s but you’re worried.
It doesn’t need to be this way. Here are some tips that will help to make your session a lot more fun.
First of all, hire someone who knows children and knows how interact with them. I know kids. I’ve taught them for over 30 years and I also have a psychology background. Besides, I am not inhibited about being silly and can get children to relax and have fun.
Do NOT ask your child to smile. If you ask your child to smile, we will get cheesy grins and not natural expressions. I know that’s hard to do but if you let me interact with your child, I can almost always capture some “real”smiles.
We will do some posed shots in your session but the best shots are often the unposed one; the ones where you child is talking to me, jumping or dancing.
Bring props if you like. Bringing a favorite squeaky toy or teddy bear for a young child is a great idea and may make them feel more comfortable.
Clothing is best kept simple; that means to avoid logos, stripes, florals and patterns. Try to have everyone wearing the same colours. But if your 2 year old is attached to his batman outfit and will be in a bad mood if you try to get him into the white polo shirt, then stick with Batman. It’s better that your child is in a good mood than to have him wearing the white polo shirt that you bought.
Plan the time of your session around naps and pick a time of the day when your child is happiest. My schedule is completely flexible. If your child gets sick, I will reschedule. Sometimes, you don’t know until the morning of your session that your child is sick. Don’t worry about it. I would rather have a healthy child come for the session than a sick one.
It really is true that the eyes are the window to the soul. Most of the time, I will want to have your child looking at me and not at a parent who is off to one side. If I need you to get your child to look up, then you can wave your hands, jump up and down, make funny faces, squeeze the squeaky toy, or whatever works, but do it behind me and above my head. That way, I have a better chance of getting your child to look into the camera.
Please do not try to take your own photos using your iPhone or any other camera during a session. You are paying me to take pictures. I will not shoot if someone else is trying to take pictures.
Your child will sense if you are stressed, so relax and your child will also be more relaxed. It should be a fun experience for all.
We were playing “Do this. Do that” during this shot. Isn’t it precious?