You’ve got the kids dolled up in their Sunday best, ready to snap some pictures that will make their way onto this year’s holiday cards or some photo gifts for the grandparents, but inevitably something goes wrong. One kid has a meltdown or the weather takes a turn for the worse. We’ve all had experiences like this, but with the help of these five tips, you’ll be able to salvage the day and end up with at least a handful of usable photos:
Relax- One way to get awesome shots of your kids is to let them play, talk and run around with little interference from you or others who are around. Don’t insist on fake smiles created by having them say “cheese.” Don’t stress over whether or not you get every pose on your list; chances are you’ll get most of them and some great ones that weren’t even on the list.
Redirect Their Attention- When your kids attention span come to an end, point out an object for the child to look at and tell you about. If you’re outside, ask them to tell you why the birds fly in the sky, or ask them to make up a story about the props that they’re playing with. You’ll be able to capture authentic smiles and natural poses with much less stress than when you’re manipulating their every move.
Keep Your Expectations Low- As I was preparing for a speech competition years ago, a teacher told me to “prepare for the best and expect the worst.” I’ve clung to this saying in many situations over the years, and taking pictures of my kiddos is one such time. Prepare the place where you’ll do the kids photography, have them dressed as you like and have plenty of accessories on hand to vary the photos. Click away with the hope of capturing shots that show off the child’s personality, and you’re sure to get plenty of great pictures.
Try A Bribe- While most of us try to avoid bribing our kids, sometimes a little extra incentive is needed to get the troops to cooperate. A chocolate chip cookie or the promise of an ice-cream cone at home may be just what you need to get the kids to play together nicely or pose the way you want. Just be sure that you only do this for your own children; if you do photography for kids other than your own, don’t do this unless you’re sure the parents won’t mind.
Be Patient- At the end of the day, it’s your relationship with your child–or the kids you’re photographing–that matters most. Let the kids have their space, don’t pressure or prod and you’ll have a fun time doing kids photography. These five tips will help photo sessions go much more smoothly whether you’re doing them for your own family photo albums or helping a client capture images of their most precious gift.