Firstly I should say, the main thing is for your children to be comfortable. I want your photo shoot to be a relaxed and happy event. Definitely let them know we are going to have fun!
Once you’ve been in touch and booked your session I will send you through a short questionnaire about your shoot. I like to get to know your family before I meet in person. Every child is different and I like to make them feel special and comfortable when they come to visit.
When you’re coming to your session please don’t put pressure on your child. I am there to bring out their fun sides. You can’t make a child smile. Like most things with little ones they won’t do what they don’t want to. And if you force them or ask them to say “cheese” you’re likely to end up with clenched jaws and raised chins. Or my son’s favourite, nose wrinkled and eyes scrunched up tight.
My aim is to take genuine photos. I want to capture their personalities. I definitely don’t want you to have portraits of children who you don’t even recognise! Every child is different so I know that what makes one child smile may result in glum looks or nervous stares from another. I have a few tricks to bring on a grin. With games, selected toys and books, songs and conversation I find I can encourage a natural smile and a few big laughs. I generally don’t do posed shots in my sessions unless it’s a sleepy newborn.
Mums and dads, I know you’ll be a great asset behind the camera chasing after those cheeky crawlers, making silly faces and having fun with your children as only you can. If you’d like to be on the other side of the camera though just let me know!
If you’ve booked for a studio session I will bring you into the studio space and let you look at the backdrop, lighting and camera equipment before we begin. There is nothing scary in my studio but sometimes it can be a little daunting to sit down in front of the lights for the first time. Afterwards I’ll put on some music, have a chat or maybe even play a game to get everyone relaxed and ready for some smiles.
They do say to never work with children but I believe you should never work with hangry or sleepy children so please let me know if there is a time that suits you around naps and full busy days.
I recommend you have snacks and a drink on hand and tissues for any runny noses. I hope you won’t need any bribes as we’ll be having so much fun but if you do bring sweets I recommend nothing that takes a long time to chew or lollies.
If your child has a favourite toy or book that you think would be a lovely addition to their portrait, and your wall, please bring it along. On the other hand, if your child has a favourite toy that you don’t want to feature in their portrait please leave it at home.
If you have any special requests for photos or props let me know before the shoot and I’ll see if it’s a possibility. I’ll have a plan in mind but we all know children like to make their own rules!
So how should you dress for your session? The main thing I suggest you avoid dressing your children in is clothing with large motifs or characters. I know it can be difficult to find plain children’s clothing, especially when coordinating more than one child, but I find these graphics detract from the real focal point – their beautiful faces.
If you are deciding how to dress more than one child I suggest that their outfits don’t perfectly match but instead use coordinating colours. I also have some outfits in the studio wardrobe so please ask.