April 17, 2011

Kids uncooperative for portraits? Don't get stressed....

*I found this on another photography website and I completely agree with it. Parents tend to get stressed when children don't cooperate for pictures but sometimes that is when a photographer gets the best shots! I hope this helps some of you :o)

If your child doesn’t seem like they want to cooperate, don’t worry about it. Many children start off shy, or even defiant, at a session, but they always come around. Or, sometimes we have the opposite, where they start off great, and then get tired, hungry, cranky, and are just done! It’s all ok. I am laid back and patient, and love kids, so we will work through it! This is really the benefit of on location photography – most of the time, it seems like we’re just playing! Anyway, the best thing you can do is just relax. They feel your stress and react to it. This is supposed to be fun! So, here are a few more tips to help prepare your child for our session and make it as stress free as possible:
-If it takes your child a while to warm up to a new location or new person, arrive a little bit early and walk around and explore. Or if I’m coming to your home, talk about the fact that I’m coming and maybe pick out some special toys they want to show me.
-If your child falls asleep in the car, also plan to arrive a little early, so they have some time to wake up.
-If your child has a special toy or object they’re attached to, it’s ok to let them have it in some of the pictures. If it makes them feel secure, that’s great! Plus, when they’re big and no longer want to play with their special toys or blankies, you’ll treasure having a picture of them with it! And, don’t worry, we’ll get some with out it – I’ll ask if I can borrow it to help me take the photos, or they’ll eventually part with it. (And, really, if all else fails, I’ll Photoshop it out!)
-Just focus on it being fun! When you’re preparing for our session, say that we’re going to play with Miss Kate! Keep in mind a few funny words or tricks that always make them laugh, and interact with them throughout our session. We want to avoid the “cheese” face, so interaction is great! I’ll be interacting with them as well.
-Bring a drink and/or snack – especially if we’re doing a full session in warmer weather! Try to make it as mess-free as possible though!
-Sometimes, especially with older children, they actually do better without you present. Please don’t be offended if I suggest that mom and dad take a little walk, or just stand off to the side a little bit.
-It’s ok to bribe your children Definitely feel free to promise them a treat afterwards! Rewards and treats work better than punishment or threats – it’s supposed to be a fun experience!

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