One of the things I LOVE about being a photog is that every shoot is different. And as much as I try to prepare before the session, each one is slightly unpredictable as well. That’s the exciting part! But of course, there are some shoots that are more unpredictable than others. You remember that TV show, “Kids say the darndest things!”??? Uh, huh…. well, they also DO the darndest things…. especially when you want them to do something else!
Photographing kids…. you’ve got to move fast, talk funny, act goofy, think happy thoughts, and frankly, sometimes you just gotta’ hope for the best. Let’s face it…. kids run the show! You schedule activities around nap and eating times and if they are cranky, well, then you better have a bag of tricks up your lens!
Parents want to see happy faces for pictures, of course. And sometimes, when that doesn’t happen right away, it’s not the child, but the parent who ends up in a tizzy. But, as a photog, you have to be prepared for it all… meltdowns, crying fits, grumpy faces, you name it. So PLEASE, do not feel embarrassed or apologize if your child’s mood is, lets say, ‘less than perfect’. I prefer to go with the flow, and would love it if you would do the same. It helps put your kiddo at ease. And in the end, I want your photo session to be an enjoyable experience for everyone!
The best way to achieve happy kiddo pics is to just let them be kids! If they want to run around the open field at the park we are shooting at, great! Let them, and I will follow! If they want to sit on the blanket and have you read them a book, awesome! Do that! (TIP: BRING BOOKS AND TOYS AND WHATEVER ELSE YOUR CHILD LOVES!) If they want to explore the surroundings, perfect! It’s in those times of wonder, exploration and amazement that magic is made! Typically once I have allowed them to do their thing, it is much easier for them to be coaxed into sitting or standing with Mommy and Daddy for a nice portrait. And you know what else? Sometimes those grumpy or “serious” faces….. well, they can be photography GOLD!
The point is…. I want them to be themselves and photograph that. And isn’t that what parents want also, when you look back on the pictures, to have them capture the true essence of your child?
PS…. The handsome little fella who is featured in this blog post only had one episode of actual crying (which, of course, is shown on the top pic). To be honest, it’s one of my favorite shots of the day. Because really, parents…. one day, you will look back on this and laugh.