GETTING READY FOR PORTRAITS OF YOUR CHILDREN
Getting ready for a portrait session of your child, or multiples of children is similar to the preparations and considerations discussed in our "Getting Ready for Family Portraits" section. However, since you adults will not be in most of the photos, there other concerns here.
PREPARE, PREPARE, PREPARE
Get everything ready the day before. This will ensure that portrait day will go smoothly. Pack the snacks and a change of clothes if you will be bringing one, lay out the outfits and get excited!
CHOOSE THEIR CLOTHING CAREFULLY
Have your children's clothing chosen way in advance and make sure that their outfit choices are comfortable and attractive. Want to showcase the fun and spunky side of your kids? Choose coordinating colors (but not matchy, matchy) with bold accent colors, such as hues of gray with yellow or bright red accents.
MAKE SURE THEY ARE WELL RESTED & WELL FED
Be certain not to schedule your photo session around your child’s nap or bedtime. The best time for lighting is the two hours before sunset and after sunrise. If this is a bad time for your children, talk with your photographer. Good photographers will be able to shoot at any time of day by utilizing areas of open shade that will give your skin a beautiful hue and put a sparkle in your eyes. Don’t show up to a photo shoot on an empty stomach. I meet many families who come to a photo session with dinner scheduled at the end. If this is your plan, be sure to give everyone a healthy snack before the photo shoot.
Bring snacks and things that make your child happy. If we need to take a break for carrots and goldfish, no problem. Anything to keep the youngest members of the family happy.
BE SURE TO LEAVE PLENTY OF TIME TO GET READY
Moms are often rushing around before a photo shoot, making sure that their family is dressed and ready. Leave plenty of time for showers, baths, dressing, and grooming. When a family shows up to a family photo session rushed and disorganized, it sets the tone for a rushed and disorganized session. Give yourself extra time so that you are ready before it’s time to head out that door.
COME ON DADS, HAVE FUN!
Dads, please cheerfully participate when you are in the pictures. I know that many dads dread the the photo session, but fathers, please understand how important capturing your children is. These images will be left as a legacy, when your children are grown, with families of their own some day. Your child's photos are treasured forever and they are so important. Please, please, dads… cheerfully participate in your photo session. Once you see your happy wife and amazing photographs, you will be so glad that you gave this time to your family.
CHEESE IS FOR CRACKERS!
Please, parents… leave the “cheese” at home. Cheese is for crackers. So many times I have found parents who stand behind the photographer and scream, “Say cheese to the man kids!” Yelling and demanding young children to look at the camera to smile will only stress your children out (not to mention the photographer) and will result in strained, unnatural and often unflattering photographs. Step back, and allow the photographer to naturally interact and talk with your children. This will result in natural, gorgeous smiles. Help the photographer capture the true essence of your child’s personality by talking with and coaxing out those smiles naturally and easily.
HAVE FUN WITH YOUR FAMILY
Get them excited! A strange photographer with a big camera and gear can be a little bit intimidating. I will do my best to make your child feels comfortable but it helps if you prep them before the session. Tell them something fun and exciting is going to happen. Show them other pictures you have of them or the family and tell them that is what they get to do. Give them an incentive - a favorite story or snack when they are finished.
If you are in the pictures with your kids, don’t be afraid to pick up your children and toss them in the air. Give your wife a sweet kiss on the check. Tell your husband how much you love him and appreciate him for being there for your family. Have fun. Laugh. Giggle. Joke. Embrace. Kiss. Snuggle. Play. Doing these things will allow the photographer to capture the emotion and true beauty of your family. Leave the stiff “cheese” faces for Aunt Marge at the next family reunion. Show your photographer who you really are, so that he has the opportunity to capture your love through his lens.
BRING AN ACTIVITY THAT YOUR KIDS ENJOY DOING TOGETHER
My most successful child sessions have incorporated an activity that they love to do together. This engages the little ones, and brings an authentic smile to their face. Do you love to read together? Bring some books. Is your favorite dessert ice cream? Bring some ice cream bars or drumsticks to your session or better yet… hire an ice cream truck to come to your session. Other ideas include: football, piggy back rides, races, bike riding, hiking, singing, picnics, the ideas are endless. When children are engaged in doing something that they love together, the photographer will have the opportunity to take some beautiful and authentic photographs.