Sarah was her normal, wonderful self and offered to take our family pictures. She had no idea what she had signed up for though!
As a photographer I know it can be challenging working with kids. We have a lot of tricks up our sleeves including singing their favorite songs, doing goofy dances, letting them scream (it looks like a smile in the photographs), bringing a fun toy, tickling them, asking them questions to get them comfortable, playing chase, telling jokes, saying silly things like “Daddy has stinky feet” and whatever else works. Never ever have I had so much trouble getting kids to cooperate as I did on my own family photography session. So embarrassing!
Truthfully it was just poor planning on my part though. These are the things I learned from this session that parents can do to help their kids be happy so we can get stellar photographs.
- Make sure the kids are well fed beforehand.
- Bring snacks and drinks.
- Make sure the kids have had good naps.
- Make sure the kids are a comfortable temperature. We were dying of heat in these pictures.
- Don’t schedule the photo shoot at or past their bedtimes. Work around their schedule and plan the photography session during their happiest time.
- Be in a happy and playful mood during the photo session and don’t let the stress get to you. My kids really mimic my mood and I was feeling rushed and worried to get us all ready on time. Consequently they were feeling nervous and crazy because of me.
- Start getting ready loooonnnng before you need to leave so you won’t feel rushed or anxious.
- Explain to them ahead of time what will happen and the behavior your expect from them.
- Let the photographer be the photographer. Don’t try to micromanage the photography session. Let the photographer tell the children how to sit and where to look. Actually, as a photographer I find the more I direct kids the more stressed they become. If they are getting too many instructions and from multiple people it gets overwhelming and kills their happy mood. Chose wisely what instructions you give and keep it at a minimum.
- Let them know there is a reward at the end if they behave properly….ice cream, popsicles, a trip to the park, a toy they’ve been wanting, or the like.
These pictures were taken in our neighborhood of Watersedge in New Port Richey, FL. We often take nightly strolls to this spot and watch the sunset together. I love that our pictures are at a place that’s meaningful and special to us.