5 Tips to Successfully Photograph Your Children
I have two granddaughters who have been photographed by me from the moment they left their momma's womb. My oldest - Alana loves the camera. She has always happy to pose and smile for grandma's camera. There are hundreds and hundreds of photos (I'm not exaggerating - hundreds) of Alana. All sweet, smiling, perfectly posed pictures of Alana. The second granddaughter Brianna? Not so much. From the moment she could speak and walk, she would point her index finger at me, say "no" and walk away. Didn't want anything to do with taking pictures. Most of the pics I have of her are slightly blurry because she wouldn't stay still for me, or are from the back of her head because she was walking away from me. The girl was serious. Until...high heels.
When Brianna was 4 years old, I had a vision for a Breakfast at Tiffany's themed photo shoot. I really wanted her to do it but I knew she would give me a hard time. So I took her shopping. I let her be involved in picking out the outfit. We bought her a small sparkly crown. We found the perfect sunglasses. Picked out jewelry. But her favorite part of the day was shoe shopping. I let her pick a sparkly pair of black shoes with a heel. She loved them so much! They made her feel grown up. She wanted to wear them out of the store. But I didn't let her. I them in the box, closed the lid and told her "these are for your photo shoot." She said "when is that?" Suddenly little miss couldn't wait to have her picture taken!!
So my first tip would be to get the child pre-excited. Build up the shoot in any way you can. Buy them new clothes, shoes, whatever makes them happy. Bribery goes a long way, trust me. The day of Brianna's photo shoot she couldn't wait to put on those heels and strut her stuff!
Our shoot could not have gone better. She felt pretty and sassy and gave me everything I wanted. For about 30 minutes. Then she announced "I'm hungry."
I said "ok baby, a few more minutes and then I'll get you something to eat." She gave me one more pose and boom - that was it. She was done. "I'm hungry grandma". It was over. But at least I got 30 good minutes out of her!
So tip #2 would be to be realistic about time. Kids lose interest and focus pretty quickly so you have to accept that when it is over - it's over.
I have photographed many children and many times their mommies come with this Pinterest-vision-board-pre-expectation. The Pinterest picture shows this angelic little child, posing perfectly for the camera. In reality, there was probably 50 pictures taken of that same child that aren't so perfect, the mommy is frustrated, the photographer is sweating, all working hard to get that one perfect shot.
Tip #3? Keep your expectations sensible. You may or may not get that Pinterest perfect shot! The best photos of your child will be of their individual personality shining through!! Just go with the flow and let the child run the session most importantly - let them have fun!!
Letting them have fun is the best way to cooperation. My #4 tip is this - laugh with them, get down to their eye level, show them the back of your camera so they can see what you are capturing. I've even let them snap a picture of two!
Oh one last tip - PATIENCE PATIENCE PATIENCE!