Photographing babies and children is such a joy. Each child is so very unique and different, adorable, and all have such varied personalities, habits and quirks. Quiet, thoughtful, vibrant, silly or always questioning, I’ve photographed them all, and treasure each and every one. The most common concern that comes from many clients, is how their child will react to a professional photography session. In the same way that all have such varied personalities as was mentioned, all act differently when they see a camera, and are put in a new situation, no matter what their personality! It can be an odd experience for all of them, but as a photographer & you as parents, we want it to go as smoothly as possible. Here are some tips to help your next session to go well with your kids!
1. Pick the perfect time – After booking a session with me, you will need to make one of the biggest decisions about your session, and it is all about perfect timing. Watch your child throughout the week. When is her happiest time? When is she grumpiest? Typically, staying away from mealtimes and nap times are the main concern, from there we can work together on what will be a happy time for your child, and best for their schedule, personality and attitude. Keeping things as normal as possible will keep them at their best!
2. Meet your photographer – Since I specialize in photographing babies & children, I know how they can react to meeting someone new for the first time. Some children are fine, while others need to feel comfortable before really settling down. Make sure you not only hire a photographer that is comfortable and patient with children, but one who also has no problem meeting you beforehand, if needed, to get to know your child outside of the studio or session setting. If time does not permit for this, then ask the photographer if they may take a few moments before the session talking with your child, without a camera in hand. I have found that ten to fifteen minutes of talking and asking about their favorite toys or their best friends makes for a connection that will be invaluable later in the session.
3. Find the right clothes – Every child has clothes they love and feel comfortable in. If a favorite clothing article of your child’s matches the look you are going for, use it! If you need to buy something new, let your child wear the outfit around the house a few days off and on, to get them used to it. Some kids, such as my son, love routine and normalcy. For him, wearing a brand new outfit on the same day as being photographed by someone he didn’t know well, or at all, could be a recipe for a disaster. Keep it simple, normal and comfortable. You’ll thank yourself during the session when they are not complaining that their shoes hurt, or they have a scratchy tag.
4. Stay calm – From the moment you book your session, to the moment you pull up in your car, stay calm! Children watch their parents very closely, even when we don’t realize it. If you are stressed about clothing choices, timing, or if family members will be smiling, your child will pick up on that. Not only do they become stressed out too, but they almost feel expected to act that way during the session. Keep it happy, upbeat, and exciting when you and your family talk about your upcoming session. It will get them excited too! If you do have stresses, call your photographer and talk them through! We are always here for you, to make you and your entire family comfortable and excited for your upcoming session.
5. Remember patience – Be patient with your child. They might do stunningly well during your session, or they may react with tears, worry, or crazy antics. As professional photographer’s, we’ve seen it all, and expect it all! We understand the situation, and are more than happy to do goofy things to get those gorgeous smiles, to sit and dry tears, or to act calm and quiet when need be. Please, don’t be embarrassed by the broad spectrum of emotions your child might show! We understand, and are more than happy to be patient as we wait for your perfect, genuine image.
6. Plan ahead – Bring some wipes for you child’s face, a sippy cup with water, snacks, a favorite toy and a change of clothes. These five seemingly small things can make a world of difference in cheering up a sad face! When bringing snacks, remember to bring something dry and fairly clean; something like dry cereal is a fantastic option. Your child’s favorite toy may help out immensely if held by the photographer, to get their attention, or may be something fun to incorporate, so you can always remember it. A change of clothing might be a last resort, but may also be invaluable if something was spilled. It’s always best to plan ahead!
7. Enjoy the ride – We LOVE what we do. Capturing your child is such a delight. Find a photographer that you feel works well with your style and your family, and then, enjoy. You have made such a wonderful decision to have your child and family documented. Kids grow so very, very fast, and you are capturing fleeting memories. Enjoy your session, have fun, relax, and enjoy this special time with your family!