Updated: May 19, 2022
Do you have kids that never cooperate at family photos? ME TOO!
To be honest, I get a little anxiety every time we get family pictures. My 2 rambunctious boys never cooperate on the day of photos, even though at home we will have picture perfect moments several times throughout the day. I have learned a few things by both being the person in front of and behind the camera. I want to share my top 3 tips with you so you feel more confident in your session when it only feels like chaos.
The first and maybe most important tip is let the kids be kids. The goal is to capture authenticity. By allowing the child to be themselves I will catch those in between moments and finer details of them playing in dirt, climbing rocks, chasing their sibling, or making silly faces. I may guide them, but the rest is up to them. Typically the more we yell at our kids to smile, look at the camera, or stop running, the more they don't want to do it. Which brings me to my next point...
Relax and Smile! Although I may let the child lead, I still maintain control of the session and their safety. Even when your child is running wild, or you perceive them as misbehaving, DO NOT discipline them. Just smile through it. Once they are scolded, or you show frustration the frowns will show up in your photos. If your child falls and scrapes a knee, I will capture those tender moments of a nurturing parent. If the child gets dirty, I will capture their little hands that explore the world around them. If they run wild like my kids, I will capture their little laughs as they burn through that energy.
We will play games! Kids learn the tricks quick, but once they are bored we will find a way to engage by playing games. Games are a great way to get some loving moments without requesting them to do so. Running under a blanket, tossing marshmallows, or playing line leader are fun ways to get your child involved without realizing they are creating a moment. Bribery will get you everywhere. :-)
Take a moment to sit and rest. Now that some of that energy is burnt off, this is where we get the snuggles while the kids catch their breath. It usually doesn't last long before they want to get up and go, but it works for creating some pretty sweet moments.
Enjoy the process. Trust your photographer. We will capture some true magic.