How to Make Sure Your Child's Session is as Successful as Can Be!
- Have lots of patience! Children go through many stages, and they won't always be willing or able to sit still for an hour and pose, or give genuine smiles. Not to mention, the studio is big and full of shiny things - very distracting. Often, active children would just rather run around and peek at everything. This is fine with me! I don't mind taking extra time to let them satisfy their curiosity. Just let me know when you book your appointment that your child may need extra time to get used to the new surroundings, and there is no charge for that so don't be shy!
- Work with what you've got! If you have been blessed with a child that has ample stores of energy, you may be anxious about bringing them to a studio and asking them to sit and smile. That's ok too. We are fully equipped to take our session outdoors, where we can run and play games while we shoot. Some of my best smiles have come from a simple game of "Simon Says". While studio shots are beautiful, sometimes they just have to wait until next year.
- Bribery works! Feel free to bring in snacks, treats, bubbles, a favourite toy or a favourite show or movie cued up on your tablet or phone. A beautiful smile while holding a treat will look better on your wall than a frown or a pout.
- We can always reschedule! If at any point you feel your child has gotten overwhelmed or just isn't in the mood, let me know and I will gladly reschedule. Usually a second visit goes a lot smoother, because they know what to expect.
- Don't create pressure! Children are sensitive to pressure. Book your session for them with little fuss, keep any mention of it brief and casual. Just a passing mention really. If it gets built up too much, or there is too much talk about "behaving" or doing a good job, it may make them nervous or not want to even try.
- Just let me do my thing! It is hard as a parent to just sit back and let someone else do all the "parenting", but it only hinders a photoshoot if too many people are trying to give a child direction. If I am telling them how to pose and you are telling them how to act, it gets overwhelming very fast. So just relax and let them be themselves, and trust that if I need their behaviour to change a bit to get the shot i want, that I will be able to accomplish this. But stay close by, if I need back up I may ask for it.
- Only bring essential people! Ideally, the shoot will consist of me, the child (or children) and a parent or two. Any more than that runs the risk of hampering the session. Too many people start jumping up and down and making faces and noises to get the smiles and the child gets overwhelmed, with no real idea of where to look. And a crowd can turn a photo session into something more like a stage performance with too many eyes on them. If you want to bring extra family members so that they can be in some of the shots, a good idea is to plan to have them arrive halfway through the shoot, so that we can quietly capture the child's portraits before welcoming in what hopefully will be a happy and rowdy crowd for the group shots. If you do bring a small crowd with you, I really don't mind at all (I am very easy going!) but I may ask the extra people to have a seat or stand back so that the child will focus more on me and not them.