Ten Tips for a Successful Photo Shoot with Little Ones
- Pick the right photographer – this should be someone who regularly shoots kids and won’t be frustrated if they don’t behave like the ideal models. A good family photographer will have lots of tricks up their sleeve to get the best shot of your child.
- Think about location – this is not only important when picking out clothing (make sure it makes sense with your background) but also make sure it’s going to be safe for your child. If they are young they may need open spaces to run wild or if they are not walking yet will there be a safe spot to set them down for a few shots?
- Be realistic in how long you need – you may need a fast and fierce session because 20-30 minutes is all your kids (and husband) can handle, or if your child is shy and slow to warm you may choose a longer session to allow them to take their time, get comfortable, and take breaks when needed.
- Come prepared – it’s a good idea to have an “Emergency Kit” for photo session mishaps. A few good things to include; baby wipes, Kleenex, a comb or brush, a drink (water because it’s clear), a snack or treat (make sure it is not messy – no chocolate) and bug spray for summer sessions. It’s also not a bad idea to wait and put your child’s “picture” shirt on them until you get to the location. Most importantly make sure your child is rested and fed before the session, even if this means changing up their schedule a little. Unless of course you want to guarantee at least one good meltdown picture.
- Think about props – you don’t have to have them, but if you do make sure they will make sense with you location and feel of your shoot. You may want to bring your child’s favorite toy if it helps them feel comfortable; just make sure you are ok with it being in the pictures.
- Communicate with your photographer – is there anything you could share about your child that your photographer needs to know? Any special needs? Any specific shots you do/don’t want? What are your priority shots (family, individual, siblings)?
- Be prepared to step in – even if you are planning a child only session it’s a good idea to dress in something you are ok being photographed in. Sometimes kids are more willing to be photographed if mom will be in a few shots with them. These may or may not end up being images you purchase but wouldn’t it suck to pass on a sweet picture of you and your baby because you’re wearing yoga pants?
- Be prepared to walk away – on the other hand, sometimes kids participate better if mom and dad take a few steps back and let the photographer do their thing. This goes back to picking the right photographer, trust them with your child. It doesn’t make you a bad parent if your kids follow direction better when coming from someone else. This is the very reason I hire others to take pictures of my kids!
- Think about your clothing choices – not just how they look, but are they going to function for a shoot with young kids. Can you sit/stand/play in what you’re wearing? Also consider your child’s clothing. Will they be comfortable or ticked off because they hate this shirt? Will they be too hot or cold? Uncomfortable kids make for poor models. Also a note on girls in dresses-if underwear tends to show when they sit put on some cute bloomers, too many great images have been ruined by princess panties!
- Relax – you can do all this and it may still not go perfectly. You already know that is what happens when doing anything with little kids. Remember worst case scenario you will at least have some accurate images of life with young ones…we call this “lifestyle photography”.
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