When people book in a photo shoot with me which is going to include children they often panic about making sure we get the “right” shots. Or they worry I’m going to struggle to handle their little ones, apologising for their behaviour before the camera’s out of the bag.
I like to think I’m able to put people at ease quite quickly, and am always happy to answer any questions they may have, but I thought a little blog on the subject may help.
Firstly, I have kids – I know
The good news is that as a parent I totally get it. I know how mortifying it can be when your usually angelic child is in full-blown meltdown just at the moment you need them to really turn on the charm. I know how infuriating it can be when that outfit you spent hours picking out for just this occasion suddenly has a ketchup stain down the front.
The key to all of this is just not to worry. Kids will be kids, and no matter their age or gender, they will be loud, grumpy, uncooperative, hyperactive or tired. And that’s just in the first five minutes. I’m completely used to it, and can work round it without any stress at all. I never book shoots back to back so if your child dose go into meltdown, don’t worry, we have plenty of time.
They’re children, not performing monkeys
I know you’ve spent money on having your pictures professionally taken, and you have your own reasons for doing that. You’ve given up precious hours of your time and are therefore invested in the outcome. However, your child doesn’t care and as a result is not going to be able to turn on the picture perfect performance of your dreams.
Working with children can be tricky at first, but once you’ve built rapport and got them on side the results are often breath taking. I always try to play around with children in the space, looking at any props, talking to them about their outfits or favourite games and encouraging them to relax.
I might show them my camera, and how my lights flash so they are happy with me and what’s going to happen. Then I might take a few shots, but never asking them to look a certain way and smile. The best shots you can possibly take are candid ones, that really capture the moment and your child better than a forced portrait.
Try not to have too much of a plan
The real stress when working with children, or anyone for that matter, is when you have a rigid plan and things just aren’t going right.
I’m not suggesting for one second that you don’t have a plan and go in completely blind, but it’s important not to have too many ideals that you have to achieve to consider the shot a success. Instead of thinking so-and-so has to be in such a position, just concentrate on getting a few good shots of each individual.
When you get down on a child’s level and let them just be, they will be far more relaxed and you’re more likely to get lots of good shots you can work with. It’s far better than trying to make sure you get that perfect expression whilst they laugh on the swing. Ask them to do it, and I assure you, it’s never going to happen!
Take it outdoors
Some children find it totally stress full being in a studio, luckily where im based we have a lovely park with is perfect for photos. So if we find that the studio isn’t right from them we can take them outside and get a mixture of candid and posed photos.
You can see more about my session here
To book a photography session please email Lyn@wingsphotography of fill out my contact form