Here are some powerful tips for a Pep Talk With the Parents before a photo shoot!
Let’s face it – photographing (or doing anything with) children is completely unpredictable. However, with a little bit of planning and organization – and a little help from Mom and Dad – you can make the task much easier.
1. Get to know the family
I ask a lot of questions about the family, just like I would about a wedding couple or any other client. I make sure I know how old the children are and their first names. I also ask about the kiddos’ favorite hobbies, characters, games or other things that might help me out during the photo session.
2. Ask the parents to consider comfort.
Family photo sessions are a special time, especially for parents wanting to hit the pause button on their rapidly-growing children. The inclination is always to dress sons and daughters up in the cutest outfits and accessories. Those bowties and tutus, however, just might not be comfortable (or practical). I ask my guardians to always consider weather and location. A muddy, chilly day is not a good time to bring out the white tights or patent leather shoes. Keep the kiddos comfy and a lot of smiles are bound to happen!
3. Stick with their schedule
During a photo session, we’re asking a lot of our kid models. They’re meeting someone probably for the first time, who is wielding a large camera and making a lot of requests, perhaps in an unfamiliar location. Let’s keep some things comfortable for the little ones, starting with adjusting to their schedule. A photo session during typical naptime or mealtime will hardly ever work. Most kids tend to have the most energy and happiness in the morning, so that’s when a lot of my family sessions are scheduled, but every kid is different. Place a full-bellied, well-rested child in front of your camera and your chances of a successful session greatly increase!
4. The parents have to behave, too!
There’s a couple of things that parents can do to help us get some great photos. One is to simply roll with it. Sometimes, parents are so focused on trying to make their offspring smile or look at me that when the youngens finally do, the mom or dad (or both) is looking away or talking or, basically, ruining the one good photo we’ve gotten so far! So I always tell my parents that they can just keep looking at me and we will eventually get a great one of all of them. Also, I like to insert little games and breaks for the kids in my lifestyle-type sessions, so sometimes I let the kids play hide-and-seek with me, and if Mom and Dad join us, then we can get some REALLY fun photos with tons of excitement and joy. “Follow my lead and don’t worry,” I tell all the adults at the beginning of my family sessions.
Have you seen the first part of this series?
Photographing Kids Part 1: How to get Fun Facial Expressions
Photographing Kids Part 2: Top 10 MUST HAVE poses for Kids
Photographing Kids Part 3: 4 Tips for Parents before a Kids Photo Shoot