What can you do, as a parent, to make the most of your child's photo session?
Below is a section taken directly from the 'What to Expect' page on my website, and I decided to convert it into a blog post.
It’s important for your child to feel comfortable with me. At the beginning of the session, I will take the time to make friends with him/her. I understand that your child may be shy, and I have different techniques for dealing with how they may respond to me. I aim to get a mix of photographic styles during a shoot. I love candid photos and capturing children in their natural state. Attempting to pose little ones is also so much fun!
So, what can you do as a parent to improve the session? Most parents of toddlers feel the need to help get their little one to do what he/she is “supposed” to be doing.. It’s just human-nature. However, this may actually make the session difficult for the photographer. When this happens, there are two or more adults calling the child’s name, trying to get him/her to “look this way.” Eventually, the child tunes everyone out. That does not mean you cannot take an active part in your child’s session. I absolutely will need your help at some point! I only ask that you please wait until I ask for for assistance. This is one of the most helpful things you can do for the entire photo session. With that being said, I truly do appreciate any ideas or suggestions you may have!
Another idea is to have a brief discussion with the photographer about how you anticipate your child will act. For instance, if your son or daughter is typically shy, he/she may take a while to warm up to the photographer. Even though a professional should be prepared to handle a variety of personality types in children, it's nice to give them a 'heads-up.'
There are other things you can do throughout the day that will help promote cooperative behavior. Below is another section taken from the same page on my website.
Cranky toddlers can be expected during a child session, but here are a few tips to help avoid the situation.
Above all, your kids should have fun and be themselves! I have definitely had some shoots where the parents and I were almost forcing the child to be cooperative. I learned a lot from those sessions and now, I'm able to step back, evaluate the situation, and approach it in a much more confident and relaxed manner, which yields much better resulting images!