Your session is right around the corner! Are you ready? Excited? Is your child ready? I have prepared a checklist of things for you to remember in order to make sure your child is prepared for their portrait session!
- Do not forget to feed your child before the session. Also, pack snacks in the event hunger strikes again while we are shooting (because let's be real...kids are always hungry!).
- Bring more than one outfit. Make sure you always have backup clothes just in case. I suggest not changing your child into their session clothing until after you feed him. If you plan on dressing your child upon arrival for your session, please plan accordingly arriving ahead of time.
- Let your child help when picking out their clothes for the session (unless their fashion taste is questionable...ha!). By letting your child wear his favorite shirt or shoes, etc. this will help him feel more comfortable. If his choice of clothing doesn't match, see if you can use that shirt as an undershirt or tell him he can put in on for a couple of shots at the end of the session!
- If you have a younger child, try to schedule the session around her naptime so she will be well rested and happy for photos.
- Have a bribe in place. Bring fruit snacks, goldfish, candy (avoid chocolate...I recommend smarties) and let him know that if he cooperates he will get said bribery. Parents I have worked with in the past have bribed their children by telling them if they are good, they can watch a video on Mommy or Daddy's phone. Use whatever you think will work for YOUR child. Who is up for ice cream after the session?!
- Bring along her favorite toy or blanket. This will help your child be comfortable in a new, unfamiliar surrounding. Please be aware that this may become a prop in some of the images, so bring an item that is pleasing to the eyes, smaller in size, or has sentimental value.
- Talk to your child about their upcoming session and explain what is going to happen. If your child is informed about the situation, it will help to be less scary for her when she comes to the session. Tell her she is going to meet a new friend who is going to take some pictures of her. Let her know that you will be right there with her and that we are going to have lots of fun! We might change her clothes once or twice and ask her to sit a certain way. During the session, we can show her a couple of the images so she can put two and two together.
- Bring Grandma (or someone else your child adores). Bringing along reinforcement is always a good plan. If grandma lives close by, or if your child's favorite uncle has the day off work, bring him or her with you. We can use this family member to help get your child to relax and laugh.
Hopefully a few (or all) of the above tips will help to make your child's portrait session a success! When it's time for your session, try to keep in mind that not every image captured has to have huge smiles. Some of my personal favorite images of my own kids are those that have serious faces or the tiniest of grins. As a photographer and mother of 5 myself, I understand that sometimes we just simply need to take a break during our session. And I am okay with that. In return, I ask that you smile and tolerate my off key, horrible rendition of any children's song that comes to my head. Consider my accompanying animal sounds to get your child to look my direction an added gift to you. No thanks needed....just join in the fun!