Parents are always taking photos of their kids. Everything is a "first" for them- their first cake, their first iceskating trip, their first snowfall, their first dance. We are constantly documenting our children's lives.
Since documenting our kid's lives is so important, I know as a parent it can be frustrating as well to get our child to cooperate for a "cute" photo all the time.
I know as a family photographer, I have sometimes the awkward situation of coming and meeting the children for the first time during a shoot. I know it's stressful on them to see someone for the first time with this HUGE black camera thingy in their face and mom wanting them to "look cute or else, because I paid a lot of money for this lady to take pictures of us" in the background. YIKES!
After being a mother and a photographer, I figured out ways to talk to kids and make them feel comfortable when I do shoots. Yes, I still get "meltdowns" sometimes, but overall, at the end, I know that if I have fun, the kids are going to warm up!
ONE: Introduce yourself and get at their level.
Nothing says intimidating and frightening like just talking to the parent's only and towering over them.
Start the conversation with something that would interest them like, " I LOVE your shoes- Teenage Ninja Turtles are my favorite!"
If you have kids, you can show them pictures of your kids on your phone. It will make them see you as a mom or a dad.
TWO: Ease into it.
No kid is going to just plop on a blanket and start looking cute right off the bat- It takes times to get there.
Maybe start off slow- like with a cool warm up pose like, "Let's walk holding hands with mommy and daddy." Or "I want to see who can jump the highest!"
Not only will they lighten up, but you'll get some great natural smiles out of it!
THREE: Encourage them!
I give A LOT of high fives and sometimes even a little treasure box at the end with little stickers and prizes. I learned this from my dentist- who my kids love to see (because of the prize bucket haha!)
FOUR: Just Keep Clickin'
With kids, they could change their expression so quickly. Always just keep that camera to your face and keep clicking through whatever they are doing to get those great in-between moments. Don't stop to check the back of your camera unless you really need to!
FIVE: Take breaks with fun
Have mom or dad do some tickling and snuggle time. Bring a book for mom to read on a blanket. Have them look for a "bug" or a "flower" and get them exploring with mom and dad holding hands in the background.
At the end of the shoot- you really want mom and dad to say, "They had so much fun that they didn't even know that they were taking pictures!
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