Almost every time a new session is booked, parents ask me how to prepare their child for a photo shoot. This is very important question because getting kids ready to have their pictures taken can really make or break a photo session. It is easy nowadays to find a lot of information about photo shoot preparation from different children photographers in the Internet. In this article I will give you several “how to” tips from my photography experience. So, here we go!
Tip # 1: Make sure your child is rested. Portrait sessions can be pretty high-energy, and making sure your little one got plenty of sleep is important.
Tip # 2: A good breakfast or lunch is important for your child everyday and the photo day is no exception. But don’t worry if your little one didn’t eat much. You can always take some snacks with you. We will have time for a snack break during the photo session.
Tip # 3: What to wear? This is probably one of the most important questions you will want answered before your photo session. Here is what I recommend:
– Put together two or three outfits for your child’s portrait session. We do not have to use them all but it always helps to have options.
– Try to keep the look classic. To make it more fun, you can accessorize it with details like a hair-bow or a cap, or with interesting socks and shoes.
– If your child have his or her favorite toy take it with you for our photo session. They will love cuddling their little friend while posing and having something familiar will help them feel comfortable in the new surroundings.
Tip # 4: Practice smiling with your child. It’s important because it will make him feel more confident in front of the camera. How to avoid a fake smile? Great question! There are some little tricks I can use (favorite toys, candy, silly face or whatever is appropriate for your child) to bring out a great smile.
But perhaps the most important thing is to get the kids and parents to relax. If mom and dad are pressuring: “C’mon Baby! Look at the camera! Smile! Say cheese! No, I mean a real smile!”, then you can almost guarantee painfully fake smiles. I like to let kids run around, have them play with mom and dad, and basically relax. When kids try to smile for the camera, it’s never “real.” When they’re smiling or laughing because they’re genuinely having a good time, it is real magic.
Tip # 5: Rewarding children at the end of the session: a trip to an ice cream shop, a surprise toy, a movie or special time together will make the experience even more special for your child.