Ensuring a smooth and happy session with your kids, can start a while before your session.
When planning a shoot, I encourage the parents to talk to their kids about picture day. The parents can have fun with their kids, practicing making happy and goofy faces, or have the kids practice making up poses. Anything to help the child get excited about pictures, as opposed to being nervous or not knowing what to expect.
During your consultation, I'd like to discuss what your child's current favorites are. What music they may like to dance to, a song they know well, a character the like or even a hobby they enjoy. This is helpful if we choose to play music during their session, or so I have something they're familiar with to discuss with them, and hopefully help them feel even more comfortable with me.
If you or your children are nervous about being in font of the camera, or feel like you have to pose or act a certain way, it is best to plan an activity you will enjoy and have that be the focus of your session, that way I capture all the precious moments that happen organically! Maybe the plan will be to go on a nature hike, a treasure hunt, or play a game of spy!
Or, if we're doing a shoot in the woods or at a park, parents might want to let the kids help pack a snack for their adventure.In my case, I would tell my two year old daughter that we're going to see how many puppy dogs we can spot and she wouldn't be able to get to the car fast enough.
As a lifestyle photographer, I want to capture the natural family interactions and candid moments. Having fun activities planned with the child for that day, can help create much more relaxed and intimate photos. I also love it when the child participates in planning their own outfit. It can be fun (and shocking) to see what they pick out. Their choice outfit may only be used as backup or extra clothing, but it is great to let the child wear something that they feel like a rockstar in. Even if only for a few pictures. Imagine how much fun they will have reflecting on their choices 5-10 years down the road!
When you arrive at your session, first I'll spend time meeting your whole family, and let the kids ask me questions if they have any. I often like to hang back, and capture them exploring their new environment! Some of the best photos come from them being curious about their surroundings, as opposed to me encouraging them tp pose a certain way. It is also so beneficial for the to be familiar and comfortable with their surroundings, and with me of course.
I have also found it helpful many time to bring along the child's favorite toy, or I may bring a colorful noise maker to help catch their attention if needed during your session.
I enjoy bringing parent- approved treats or surprises to your session so that I have a little gift for your kids at the end of our time together. I'll discuss with you during your consultation whether or not that's okay with you.
*Note to parents:
It is ok to hang back while the photographer works with your child. In fact, sometimes your kiddos will feel a bit more comfortable without mommy & daddy telling them how to sit or how to smile. This can depend on the child's age, some little ones may not want to leave mommy's arms during the whole session, and that's ok too.
I hope you enjoyed this post. If you're an aspiring photographer in the San Antonio area & want more tips like this, you could join me on a shoot. Contact me for inquiries & details.