I would say that 75% of photo sessions that I capture involve children. Even on wedding days, there is a flower girl or ring bearer who needs to be kept happy to be cooperative during photos. And of course, family photos, mini sessions, celebrations sessions and sometimes even engagement and maternity photos have children involved. So knowing how to prepare your kids for photos can go a long way for cooperative and happy kids during the session.
1. Make sure they are comfortable in their clothes and that they like their clothes. If they aren’t happy in what they are wearing, they are not going to be happy while taking photos. So making sure they are comfortable is the first thing, scratchy material, too tight of head bands or shoes that don’t fit properly can all lead to distracted and unhappy kids. Making sure they are happy is the second thing. This could be just telling them they look like a super secret agent or super model in their handsome clothes or making them excited about wearing their new outfit.
2. Bring extra snacks and don’t come hungry with dinner promised after. Snacks or small candy make for great bribes during a photo session ( I am not above bribery to get that great shot). If you do bring candy, make sure it’s easy enough to chew swallow quickly and it won’t leave a mess on their mouth, like chocolates and M&Ms. Smarties, Puffs, crackers or small gummies make great snacks. If your family comes hungry, they will be hungry the entire and will be antsy to get to dinner afterward (this goes for husbands too).
3. The weather in Kansas during the warm months is less likely to be warm and more likely to be very hot. So bring extra bottles of water. This will help kids have a bit more stamina during the session.
4. Talk to them beforehand. Letting them know a day or two beforehand that they will be photographed will help them to know what to expect. You can refer to me as a friend of yours (if I am not a friend already I hope we will be!) and tell them some fun facts about me to make me more relatable. (1. I have long red hair 2. I have three dogs and a cat 3. I have a shoe obsession 4. I love sparkly things 5. I love flamingos.)
Also letting them know that they will need to have fun and show me their best smiles for the best photos will also let them know what is expected.
5. Stay positive and have good vibes. Children pick up on your mood and will match. So while I know that it is stressful getting everyone dressed in matching outfits and getting everyone in the car without spit ups and spills, know that your attitude and stress level does make an impact. The more giggly and silly you can be, the more comfortable your children will be.
The biggest thing I want to capture while photographing your children is their personalities and the best way to do this is to get them as comfortable with me, the camera and what they will be doing.