I recently took part in a photo session myself, and I found it very interesting to be on the other side of the lens. As a parent of two rambunctious children, as well as a child photographer, I’m in a unique position to give you the real low down on what happens at a photography session, calm your fears and let you know it’s going to be OK.
First off, let’s be real. Photography isn’t inexpensive (and if you want to know why it isn’t inexpensive shoot me an email and I’ll give you the lowdown). I know I was thinking in my head – what if I pay all this money and my kids just run around like maniacs or refuse to take part.
I know that as a photographer I never worry about not being able to work with a child, but on the other side my fears were real but unfounded.
My tips for calming your fears and your children
Do you have an anxious child?
I know I do and I made sure that I spoke to him well in advance about what we were doing. Even though I take photos of him all the time, when you are going to a new location or when it’s someone else taking the photos it’s different for them. Start talking a week or so in advance and don’t make it into a big deal. Plan outfits together, make sure they are comfortable and make sure you provide yourself lots of time to get wherever you have to go. This is also why I like in-home sessions. Often when parents aren’t ready I can take photos of kids, or if they hate their outfit they can change. Plus they are already in a comfortable environment – no parking issues either.
Do you have a cranky toddler?
I schedule most sessions at 10:00. I find that most kids are happiest in the morning but it gives the parents time to also wake up and get ready. If your child naps at 10:00 let’s move then time. I also recommend you make sure your child has a full stomach.
Are your kids a little bananas?
Don’t worry – mine are too and so are many of the kids I photograph. Remember, this is what I do for a living and I have many tips and tricks for getting kids to look my way or sit still for a moment. We play games and take time to breathe too.
Is your child shy?
A lot of kids take a while to warm up in front of the camera. My regular family sessions are 1-2 hours and usually by the end of the session most kids are smiling and happy. We take it slow if needed with lots of time in mom and dad’s arms.
Does your child only last for a little while and then get over it?
A lot of people tell me that their child will only really last for 30 – 45 minutes. For my full family sessions, usually I use that time to photograph them in the typical family arrangements. After that I go for a more journalistic style and will photograph them from the sidelines – playing, eating or just doing whatever. And if 45 minutes is all we have, I’ve never ever come away from a session without enough photos. I’m fast and efficient.
If you have concerns about your child please let me know. Together, I’m sure we can work out a solution. Please contact me.
Did you know that I also do free photography sessions for families with children on the Autism Spectrum? Please see Spectrum Inspired for more information.