There is one golden rule in a photoshoot with a toddler - TODDLER RULES!
But there is something you can do to manipulate your little one in order to get through the photoshoot with many beautiful images and grate memories about this experience.
Here is my philosophy for a successful family photoshoot with little kids.
Part 1 - Getting Ready
Spare clothes. Just get a couple of extra sets as it is very likely you will need it. Here is why...
- Kids like to get dirty. I'm sure you know it more than I do. Well, they are not different during the photo shoot. Let's take that stress away and let them get messy if that's all they need to be happy. :) Personally, I love those messy photos, they are so full of life and joy. But I think you might want to have some clean photos as well.
- Sometimes you choose the outfit you like but kids might hate it a few minutes later. Yep, for no reason, just because. Well, we can try and make them stay in the outfit you chose, or we can offer them something else (remember we have to be soft here and avoid tantrums)
- They might not be comfortable in their outfits. Often, parents buy new close for the photoshoot and sometimes kist get frustrated if the fabric is itchy, or they trip over the length, or it is too hot/cold.
- Treats are gold during the photo shoot. "Let's make another photo and you get a lolly" works in 99%. Oh yes, what kind of treats... Make sure they are small, non-messy and you have enough. Chocolate is not the best idea as kids might apply it all over their faces. Long-lasting candies are not ideal as well. Unless you want to see that candy in your photos. :) Something like lollies, grapes, mini bites or other fruits but cut into pieces.
- Rewards plan. Think of something you can promise to your kids, they do if they behave during the photo shoot. Movies, a favourite meal, a new toy? Here it is up to you how you want to treat your child afterward.
- Remember that your photographer is a stranger to your child. If you have an opportunity to meet beforehand, that's great. But in many cases, we meet for the first time on the day of the photoshoot. Spare some time to let your child know what to expect, how they will be taking some photos with (Photographer name). Sound like you would if you were going to a meeting with a friend. We really need to create that friendly climate. Only you know how to set that mood. :)
- No rush at the start. Let your toddler play a little. Especially if you had a long drive. I will not charge you for that time and won't rush you in any way. :) First 30 minutes, just a getting to know each other time. Make ourselves comfortable as well. There is no timer, we are here to create genuinely happy photos, so let's make it fun and easy.
- Go with the flow. If your kids want to explore, let them do it and even join them. If they want to cuddle and feel comforted, be there for them. Don't feel like its a waste of time, we can capture a lot of beautiful moments when your kids are enjoying themselves.
- Once we were looking for shells at the beach, another time I was showing kids little caves at our location. I remember one girl loved flowers and was looking for a flower for her mom.
This guideline is based on what I have learned from the families I worked with. They were always well prepared and showed me so many tricks I now use all the time.
I have to say - Lucky Me! All families that I have photographed have truly amazing kids. We always had fun and managed to create lots of great memories.
In each session, we have a few group family photos and lost of fun and full of life moments that make me smile every time I look at the. I hope you like them too.
Part 2 of the guide is coming soon.