Whether kids jump out of the car like they’re about to hit up a waterpark, or they slowly slide out of the car like the boogey man is about to pop out-of-nowhere, the first few minutes with little people on shoot are our favorite. Why? Engagement.
We’re totally game to get down on their level, literally. Grass stains and muddy clothes are “in,” right? Getting to know their personality is exciting, but most importantly, we have fun helping them learn that those crazy, brunette-headed people are trustworthy and fun. We work hard to change the “do we have to” question to asking for a few more minutes of play.
Though this is our favorite part, we recognize that our second favorite part (photographing) is time sensitive. We could spend all day having fun with you, but we know you have lives. And honestly, sometimes we live under a rock just playing with our cameras. So, we’re asking for your help to get your little one from questions to play. The faster we can do this, the more memories will be captured and the more fun everyone will have. Here are a few tools from our toolbox:
1. Start talking about the session before the session.
As soon as you’ve paid your initial invoice and signed a contract with us, begin introducing the idea slowly to your little ones. This will give you plenty of time to prepare them and address any questions or anxieties they may have.
2. Tell them why this is important to you.
Most children want to please their parents, but they usually expect their “but why” question to be answered too. It may help them to know why you want to have pictures and how you plan to use them.
3. Set expectations about the session.
In our experience, the more a child can anticipate of a session, the less anxiety they feel the day of. Here are some highlights we recommend chatting about:
- Where we will be taking pictures and what the location is like.
- Who we are (Jimmy & Alyssa) – maybe even show them a picture of us.
- Explain that we’ll have cameras and a reflector that looks like a big, shiny Frisbee.
- While they do or play with something they like, we’ll be taking photos.
- Affirm them that you will be there the whole time.
4. Ask them what they’d like to do or bring with them to the session.
Children want to feel like they have a say in what they do. Lucky for them, we want to showcase their personality and what’s special to them! Please let us know before the session what your thoughts are, so that way we can plan or make suggestions accordingly.
5. Consider offering a special treat or activity after the session.
You know your little one better than anybody else! So, this tip is totally up to you. All we know is that to this day, Jimmy would still do anything for Oreo ice cream.
Once you prepare them physically and mentally, then feel free to give them (and you!) grace! They’re little, and we know that some days don’t always go as planned. We’ve seen it all and will make sure to get you great photos, regardless of their moods. Our goal is to make this as fun and stress-free as it possibly can be for you and your family!