It goes without saying that sometimes, being a parent is quite difficult.....
I think that is actually an understatement if I am being completely honest. For those of us who are currently parents, were parents at one time or have cared for a child or children, we know how hard it can be. I am the parent of two incredible little boys and in reference to the saying about how being a parent is the hardest job you'll ever have is absolutely correct! However, don't let the stress of taking care of your little ones prevent you from participating in a photo shoot. As I wrote about in a previous blog, it is so important that children are photographed. You can read more about that, here: https://www.amylewisphotos.com/blog/the-importance-of-having-your-children-and-family-photographed/ For easy reading though, I will make a list of some tips for preparing your kids both before, during, and after the shoot!
- Do some research on who you are hoping to have photograph your family. Does the photographer often work with children? Do they mostly photograph adults (i.e. headshots?). Make sure your photographer is experienced in working with kids if you have any concerns.
- If your kids are picky about what clothes they want to wear, perhaps you could give them several options. That way, you can make sure they aren't wearing a pair of pants with torn knees AND the kids will feel like they had more of a say with the photo shoot (buy-in is a beautiful thing!). Also, it never hurts to be flexible. At the end of this post is a photo of a little girl who I photographed along with her parents. She really wanted to wear fairy wings during the shoot which I absolutely LOVED. Her parents were so understanding and encouraging with her and the photos where you can see her wings are some of my absolute FAVORITE pictures I have ever taken! It made for such unique and memorable photos.
- If you are worried about having your session done at a specific location (i.e. at the beach, in the woods, etc.), consider having the photoshoot at your house or a family member's house (i.e. grandparents). Familiar territory can be less overwhelming for kids.
- Consider how long you would realistically like your photo shoot to be. One thing I started offering are "short sessions" that are 30 minutes long due to requests by some families. It's just enough time for me to get to know the family for a bit and to get a very reasonable number of photos taken. If you are worried about your children's attention span, consider booking a shorter session. You can always save the hour or longer shoots for when they are older. More information about my session types can be found here: https://www.amylewisphotos.com/investment/
- Invite family members with to help with the shoot, even if they don't want to be in the photos. Grandparents, Uncles, family friends, etc. can help with making the kids laugh or taking care of the baby so the parents can have a few photos of just the two of them!
- Bring something for the kids to do when they are not in photos. Bubbles, a cozy blanket, even a stroller with some blankets to relax in can be helpful! A familiar stuffy can also provide some comfort to anxious children, and even it ends up in the shot, you may be surprised at how sentimental that photo ends up becoming over time.
- Don't be afraid to bring along the family dog (if allowed/permitted). Dogs can add a great energy to photos and can help kids to feel more relaxed (so long as the dog is relatively well-behaved!).
- Make sure to schedule the photo shoot at a time that you think would work best for your family. Shooting in the middle of the day is not always ideal because the light can be overwhelming, but if your kids are in a better space in the morning for example, ask if you can do a morning photo shoot!
- If your kids are easily distracted, make sure to pick a location that isn't too over-stimulating (i.e. a playground is within view of your photo location). That being said, some pretty incredible photos can be taken on a playground, while climbing the rocks at the beach, etc. with the whole family! Don't be afraid to have your session done somewhere that seems non-traditional. Candid photos are sometimes some of the best photos!
- Do go out for ice cream or a special treat after the photo session. It will give the kids something to look forward to and it doesn't make you a bad parent if you reward your kids sometimes! Trust me!
- Finally, if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me/your photographer with any questions or concerns you may have. Chances are, this isn't the first time these concerns have come up and I will do everything I can to help! I always offer to do a consultation call with clients prior to our photo session. If you would like to do this, please let me know when you book!
BONUS TIP: If you have some very serious concerns about your photography session going sour, please ask about doing a "meet and greet" if you will before the photo shoot. I would be more than happy to meet with your family for a few minutes a week or two before the photo shoot. I could show them my camera, take a few pictures, let them take a few pictures, etc. Having at least some rapport going into the photo shoot could make a big difference! Please just ask! I cannot speak for all photographers but I am more than happy to be flexible!