If you’re preparing for a photo session with your children, you may be feeling a bit apprehensive. Children aren’t always easy to deal with, which is why the below tips will definitely come in handy before your upcoming photo session.
1. Don't make a huge deal out of it.If you're stressed out and cranky, your kids will usually pick up on it and act accordingly. Their behavior will usually be better if you are relaxed and having fun. You may have to make some compromises to keep the peace such as letting your energetic daughter's hair stay straight instead of curling it into because she won't sit still. Focus on the big picture and don't sweat the small stuff.
2. Make it fun.Let the kids have a couple “fun pictures” where they get to pick their own pose or props. You get to keep the more serious photos while they get to keep their silly photos. This way everyone wins. If you are struggling to get your kids to sit still, turn the photo session into a game. Simon Says usually works like a charm.
3. Be prepared. If you're going to be out for several hours, ensure that your children are well rested and have had their nap. Bringing some snacks and activities along is also a great idea. If you are having your own photos taken too then you might want to bring a babysitter or family member along to watch the kids. If you happen to be shooting in a remote location, you never know when you might need something like bug spray, tissues or a first aid kit so bring that along too.
4. Be patient.Save your sanity by trying not to control the photo session too much. Sometimes the best photos come from kids just doing their own thing. Work with your photographer and your photos will look fantastic.
5. Have a chat.Get your children talking to both you and the photographer about topics such as school or their favorite songs. This allows them to feel more comfortable around your photographer and will also give your photographer a chance to capture a few candid and cute expressions.
Choosing a photo shoot location might seem like a big deal but it really doesn't have to be difficult. A location usually drives some of the other decisions you will need to make about your shoot so it’s important to choose the right place. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you decide on a location:
1. What kind of theme do I want?If a particular building or natural backdrop would work well with your theme, look around your area for spots that meet your requirements. If you don't know what kind of backdrop you want, take an afternoon drive around your city for inspiration. It's easy to overlook beautiful spots that are practically in your backyard. Ask family, friends or your photographer for ideas too.
2. Are you allowed to take pictures there?Make sure that you can legally take pictures at the location that you have in mind. If it's not public property or available to the public you will need to get permission first.
3. Is it accessible?Consider that not all outdoor locations may be available all year round or you might not be able to get to them at all. Your safety is also an important aspect to think about before you decide on a location. Taking pictures on a mountain ledge may look neat but it’s best not to put yourself in harm’s way.
4. How do you get to your location?Will it be easy to walk to the session location and if not, are you able to change your clothing and touch up your hair and makeup before the shoot? You should also find out whether there is a restroom that’s close enough in case you need it.
5. Will the photo session be in a public place?If the location you have chosen has a lot of foot traffic, you need to ask yourself whether you are comfortable being photographed in front of others. If not, you might want to rethink your choice in location
Make sure that your location doesn’t become a distraction and that there is shelter nearby if you need it. Your location tells a story so it’s worthwhile to choose a meaningful spot.
Have you ever thought about adding props to your photo sessions? Props can add interest, depth and an extra flair to your pictures. Get your children to hold coordinating flowers for a spring or summer shoot. Love sports? Then use baseball bats in your next family photo to bring out your passion. Here are a few tips for ways to incorporate props in your next photo session.
1.Avoid trends.While you might have recently seen a few photos that incorporate a specific prop, try not to use something that will not look really dated in 20 years’ time. Classic is definitely better and there are many fun options to choose from.
2.Be realistic.It’s easy to go wild when thinking of a theme for your photo session. You should decide on one that you can actually find props for. For example, if you want to use seasonal props, try and source them in that season as they’ll be easier to find and before you decide to remake your favorite movie scene, think twice about whether you’ll be able to find suitable outfits for everyone in the photo.
3. Size matters.There are some larger props that work really well in photo sessions such as using your grandpa's farm tractor as a background piece. However, there are some larger props that can take away from the beauty of the photograph altogether. Make sure that your prop enhances the photo and doesn't detract from it.
4. Make it meaningful.If your child has a favorite stuffed animal or if you have a musical instrument that you treasure, try and incorporate it into your photos. This way your pictures will have more meaning to you and your family.
5. Use what you have. Make the current season work to your advantage by using what's available. Leaves in the fall make for amazing props in photos and don't cost a thing.
Remember, using props can be the perfect addition to your photos but make sure that they don’t become the main focus. You and your children should be the stars of the show.
Happy first birthday Francesco! This little guy was such a sweetie and so are his parents and big brother. Francesco was feeling a little bit shy but he warmed up after awhile. He is much younger than his older brother and came along just when his parent's were sure their baby days were over. He has brought so much joy to their family, you can really see it in their eyes. In order to celebrate, his parents decided to recreate some photos that his brother Giovanni took when he was one. Francesco had other ideas in mind but we managed to capture a few. Including a few shots containing the same hat Giovanni wore in his photos, unfortunately Francesco's head is a little bigger than his brother's so we sat it next to him.
I can't believe this boy is not a baby anymore! I've been photographing Bubba since he was a newborn and since the last time I saw him he has definitely made the transition from baby to toddler. Since little man is at that age where he is always on the go we decided to photograph him doing what he does best, playing. As soon as I walked in to his backyard he started running around showing me all his toys and his favorite things to do. At the same time he was being such a little ham smiling for the camera. Not only was it great to celebrate another year in Bubba's life, but this family also had another big deal to celebrate. Mary, bubba's grandmother beat breast cancer this year!
My own littlest baby is one year old! I just can't believe how fast the last year has flown by. I'm amazed every day by this spunky little girl. She's absolutely fearless and loves everyone she meets. She brings joy to all of us around her, especially her big brother and sister who absolutely adore her. Watching their little faces light up when she smiles at them or laughs when they're silly makes my day every time. I can't wait to see what the next year has in store for my little baby, I just wish she would stay a baby just a little bit longer.
I can't believe little Declan is already six months old! It seems like i just shot his newborn photos yesterday. This little man is so sweet and I love getting to see him. Declan is learning to sit up and enjoying trying out solid food and showing off his tummy time skills. Although he didn't enjoy changing clothes he cooperated great for his photo shoot and gave me lots of sweet little baby smiles. I'm so lucky that I get to watch this little guy grow up.
my littlest baby is nine months old already! Where is the time going? It seems like just yesterday that I was taking nine month photos of her big brother and sister. I always try to use Myla's shoots to try out things that I've been wanting to do but haven't had a client to try it on yet. So for this shoot I decided to try out a milk bath and I absolutely LOVE IT! There's just something so dreamy about the flowers and the milky water. Just perfect. It took a bit of set-up and the behind the scenes was a bit of a mess but I would definitely do it again.
AJ is turning one! I had such a great time photographing this sweet little man. Not only do I love to set up a fun theme, like AJ's cute fishing themed set, but he is just such a cutie. As soon as his mom walked up to to introduce herself AJ reached his arms out to me so that he could meet me too. Although the Florida heat and humidity was in classic form for our session I had a great time getting to know this cute little guy and his parents. First birthdays are so important and special, I love that I get to be a part of such great milestones. Happy First Birthday AJ!
Karah Couch is a photographer and mother of two year old twins.