I’ve been photographing families (and people in general) long enough to know (at least) eight things you can pretty much count on that WILL happen during your photo shoot… and why it’s all okay.
- You won’t get the best shots first.
- You would think the best shots come first, early in the process when the kids are still fresh and willing to participate. This is what I was taught and previously thought, but not true! It just never happens to be true for me. I tend to shoot longer sessions (over an hour), why you ask? How can kids (and adults) last that long? Easy. Because, I find it takes people a good 15-20 minutes to warm up to the camera and start to forget about it. Of course, the great thing about kids is that they don’t need any warming-up time… but their parents do! And they pick up their tension.
- Your kids won’t listen to you.
- Let’s be honest, if they do, I’ll be impressed. No judgement here. My kids don’t listen to me AT ALL. Just count on the fact that they won’t and take a deep breath. I promise you, it’ll be ok. No matter the bribes or consequences, at some point they’ll still do what they want to do. Don’t fight it. In fact, I actually like it. Go with it. Let me them run free (as free as possible). I give them lots of space + time to play. Forcing it NEVER works. Let it just unfold naturally.
- Something surprising will happen… and you’ll be overjoyed that “it worked.”
- Happens every time. It just takes a moment, a look, a sound, something little to get exactly what we all went. Give it time to happen.
- Your kids will be cranky, sick, tired, will skip their naps or spit up on their (or your) clothes… it happens.
- Pretty much all the time. You won’t be the first and it won’t ruin everything. Most of the kids that I photograph fall into one of those categories, and we all survive and their images are still gorgeous. It’s life.
- You’ll throw your hands up and laugh… because sometimes there’s nothing else left to do! And kids be crazy.
- Fake it till you make it.
- You may not (and probably won’t) be comfortable in front of the camera. EVERYONE thinks they’re not photogenic. EVERYONE thinks they just don’t look good. I’m here to tell you that it’s all not true. And I’ve got your back. I’m here to make you and your family look good. It’s my job. So fake it at first… and then we’ll make it happen together.
- You’ll be stressed even though you promised yourself you would be calm (because you read all my tips + swore you’ll be calm. Dammit).
- Well, that’s me too. Isn’t it all of us? Just do your best. When you feel stressed about the whole thing, and keeping everyone clean, AND on time, AND happy, AND not hitting each other…… well, take a breath. And promise to stay calm again.
- And if that doesn’t work, I WILL show you the back of my camera.
- At least a few times per session, I try to show parents the back of my camera so they can see a few images. To be honest, I don’t actually do this for you. (I know you’re going to get great images because I expect nothing less). I do it for me. Because once I see YOU, see YOUR images in-camera, I VISIBLY see the stress and worry melt off your face. Inevitably, it’s followed with some type of comment about “oh, I had no idea… we are actually doing great! I’m not worried anymore!). And you see … if you’re not worried … then your kids aren’t worried… then they’re free to have fun, and I can get back to doing my job. See how I worked that? (Every once in awhile, I have a few seconds of genius).
I’m here to let you know it’s all okay. Really.
Actually it’ll all be fabulous in the end.
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