Getting Your Child Ready For A Portrait Session
Getting your child ready for a portrait session can feel overwhelming, but it shouldn’t be that way. There are several things that you can do to make your life easier and help your child be calm and ready for what should be a fun and exciting time. Below, I have listed eight ideas to help you.
1. Stay relaxed. If you’re anxious, your child will be too. If you’ve chosen a professional photographer who knows how to photograph children, then that photographer should be able to relate to your child and get the best from them. We offer you a pre-consultation to let the child have “play time” with us. This “play time” helps your child know that we are fun and not “scary” at all.
2. Never say “smile” or “cheese”. One of the biggest keys to getting beautiful natural expressions is to never ask the children to smile or to tell them that their smile is not their “real smile”. As a professional photographer who has been photographing children for over 30 years, this is one of the biggest things that can derail a portrait session. Children want to please everyone – they want to perform for Mom and Dad. But, once the smile word is used, that little one puts on a cheesy look that is completely unnatural.
3. Dress the child in clothing that is timeless. This is important in getting your child ready. The photograph below was taken over 25 years ago, but, it still stands the test of time and is still beautiful today. Even jeans or overalls can be considered timeless if paired with the right shirt. Think about 30 years from now – are the clothes you’ve chosen too trendy? Will they go out of style ten years from now?
4. Make sure that your child is not sleepy or hungry. We usually recommend that you feed your child something before they come to the portrait session. We would also encourage you to bring a snack for the child, but, try not to let them know that you have it with you…..otherwise, they will be asking for it even though they just ate. The snack can be used just in case you need it.
5. It’s best to keep from saying anything in front of the child that makes them feel like they are not doing a good job during the session. We’ve heard parents say, “He never acts like this.” Or “she usually smiles all of the time, I don’t know what is wrong with her”. Things kinds of things can cause the child to feel bad about themselves even though that was never the intention.
6. Choose a photographer who is an expert at working with children. Over the years, we know photographers who’ve said that they don’t enjoy photographing children, but, they do it because they need the income. As photographers who love photographing children, we know how to “play” with them during the session. This is an important step in getting your child ready and getting the perfect expressions that you’ll love.
7. Shoes are important. Chances are your child will be photographed from head to toe. Make sure that you like the shoes you have chosen and that it looks great with the outfit. Barefoot photographs are also very beautiful and lends a timeless look as well.
8. Haircuts should be done the week before the session, not the day before. Those few days gives the childs hair the little time it needs to look natural and not freshly cut.
These steps can help you have a great experience at your childs portrait session¬ We’d love to work with you and help you create the perfect portrait for you and your loved ones.