You’ve booked your family’s photo shoot and you can’t WAIT to see all of your beautiful new photographs of you all together! But then reality sets in… What happens if they aren’t on their best behavior? What if no one cooperates with the photographer? What if none of my children smile or look at the camera? Believe me when I say, you are not alone in having these concerns! As a photographer, I fully anticipate for your children to have a moment on a shoot, and we can prepare for these moments!
The truth is, children typically aren’t able to grasp the importance and value of having professional photos taken or how precious these will be in the future, so it can be difficult for them to understand WHY they have to have these photos taken. Based on my experiences of working with so many families over the years, there are some things you can do to ensure your children (of all ages) are at their best!
Preparing Babies and Toddlers
The number one thing for babies and toddlers is to make sure they are well rested and well fed! With younger children, it is important to take your baby or toddler’s routines into consideration! Scheduling a shoot during nap time is probably not the best way to set your family up for success. If for some reason your session does overlap with a regular nap or meal time, try to adjust the best you can!
Preparing Older Children
For older children, doing some work ahead of time to frame the shoot as a positive experience tends to make a huge impact! Tell them your photographer’s name, show them a photo of the photographer, take them shopping for their special new outfit, and show them some of their work! If you are having a shoot with me, you can show them photos from my page. It can also be helpful to let them know how long the shoot will take and what will all happen while they are there!
I often see parents discussing a “treat” that will happen after the shoot and will remind the children throughout the shoot to keep them focused! These “treats” have included watching their favorite movie, stopping to get ice cream, or going to the park. It’s a great idea to bring some snacks and drinks with you along to the shoot in case your child gets hungry while you’re there!
What Happens if Your Child Has a Moment
As I mentioned before, it is likely possible that your child will have a moment during the shoot! I always anticipate this happening at some point and most experienced family photographers are too. If it happens, don’t worry! I usually find some moments during those “moments” that capture lots of personalities. I have had so many mom’s reach out in shock that I was able to sneak in some of their favorite photos during their little one’s meltdown.
It’s only natural for any parent to worry about their children having a moment during the shoot and as a mom, I understand this completely. I hope this has given you reassurance that if this does happen, it’s not something to worry about!
I’d love to hear how you get on putting these tips to use before your next family photo shoot! If you have any other tips that I can share with other parents, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!