I’ll greet you at my home studio or the location of your choice, and we’ll chat for a bit to get to know each other make sure we’re on the same page regarding the scope and direction of the session. I want you to relax and have fun, even if that sounds like an impossibility for a photo session. I often hear from my clients that working with me is surprisingly quick and painless. Before the first shot, make sure your children’s faces and teeth (and yours for that matter) are free from debris, food, snot, etc. Then, leave the rest to me. Try not to over-direct your children. We want their personalities to shine through in the photos, rather than having them sit perfectly posed and smiling *just* so. I have seen so many children struggle to be themselves while trying to follow a parent’s directions, to the point where they look frustrated and downtrodden in the final product. A photo session is, in my experience, one of THE hardest things to ask of a child. Not only do they have to do what we’re asking of them (wear this, sit there, etc.), but they have to look HAPPY about it. So, it’s better to just relax. I tell my own children (both of whom moan and groan at the suggestion of our annual photo session) that I know it seems boring and tedious but if they just enjoy it then it’ll go by fast, and I’ll give them a treat no matter HOW it goes, but that it’s really important to me to get some great photos of them out of it, so that I can cherish them forever. And it’s even okay with me if they’re a little bad, if that’s who they are. Let’s capture some of the mischief!
So, if you’re in the photos, just think about your own faces and angles. I’ll direct the kids, unless I need you to pull a hand out of a mouth or something. If you’re off-camera, feel free to give me suggestions to get baby to smile or laugh, but try not to distract them too much or criticize what they’re doing or how they’re smiling. I have a few tricks I like to try to get different expressions out of them, and they work best when I’m not competing with someone right beside me.
Sometimes a photo session occurs during a rough patch in your relationship with your child. I 100% understand this and offer ZERO judgment and my complete support. It takes a village. During these times though, it might even be best for you to leave the room during the photos, to encourage better cooperation for the session.