Tips for a successful session with children.
When it comes to photographing children you must be prepared. Sure you can just cross your fingers and hope for the best but why do that when you can actually be ready.
With kids anything goes. We adults know how to put on a little show even if inside our mood is not the best. We can still smile and follow directions. But for kids? They wear their little hearts on their sleeves and what they are feeling is what we will see.
So here are some tips on how to have the most successful session with children.
1. If you ask any of my clients what I always say is the number one most important thing about their session. HAVE FUN! Throw out the exceptions. In my experience the more you just let it go the more magic will happen. Now does this mean let your kid do something dangerous? Of course not. But what it means is if they aren’t having something there is no need to get upset. Just smile and move on. We can always try again later. Having fun isn’t just for the kids….they feel all the energy of their grown ups and will vibe with whatever you are giving them.
2. Let them be. So what exactly does that mean? It means that almost always my most favorite portraits happen when we aren’t even attempting to “pose” for a photo. They happen with the kids just start dancing or find a rock or flower or something they love. They happen when just run up and give mom and dad a hug just because they simply need a hug. The secret sauce to the best sessions are letting the kids run it. I learned a long time again that I’m actually not in charge…I’m just there for the fun ;).
3. Be silly! No need to take life too seriously and especially not your family photo session. Make the silly faces…want to know why? Because your kids will start laughing and then not only have we captured their silliness (and yours!) but now we have true genuine smiles and that my friends is what we’re after!
4. Follow their lead. Have a child that is pretty shy? It’s ok if they want to snuggle on mom…capture that! And mom I promise it’ll be some of your favorite shots. Have a kid that wants to run and run? Then play a game with them! Let their energy lead the way. And always ask for permission…ask them if you can pick them up or fly them to dad or brush the hair off their face. Giving them that autonomy will engage them even more in the session and build their trust of you. What about the child that wont put down their favorite lovey? I’m telling you those are always the best photos. And 20 years from now you will be so thankful to have them to remember the year they wouldn’t leave the house without their blankey.
5. And last but not least don’t stress about any one pose. Sure you have something in mind. Let’s try it. But if your kids aren’t having it let’s move on. Almost always we can get it at some point but don’t let your frustrations out because it always carries over to the kids and remember…us adults can hide our feels but those sweet precious little souls usually can’t.
And that my friends is the secret to a successful session with children! No magic button just a moment with your family having fun! That’s it!
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