Family portraits can be a lot of fun, or a big flop
It’s all about preparation!
Especially if you have young children in your family. Often times parents have to prep their kids for a photoshoot.
If you are a parent, you know the struggle! Every time you take out your camera when you see your child doing something incredibly cute – you have to be quick, like…Superman quick. As soon as they find out you are taking a picture, they start moving around, laughing, doing anything but holding that precious pose for half a moment. I feel your pain parents! I know that the younger they are, the shorter their attention spans are. If you have a toddler in your group, give this blog a read over, you may find some tips to help you have a smoother, more productive session.
Kids need to be entertained….or bribed. You know your child, which method will be stronger? Only you have the answer to that.
-Bring a favorite toy for them to play with while other members of the group are getting single shots, then when it is time for a group shot again, hand the toy to the photographer to hold near the camera to gain their eyes’ attention.
-Bribe your child with a new toy for good behavior and listening skills during the session
-Know what shots you want, and plan to take all the shots with the children first while their attention span is the best, as the session drags on, the children will be less and less inclined to follow directions.
–You as a parent should always be looking at the lens, don’t keep looking at the kids to make sure they are looking in the right direction. Many shots are lost because the kids finally managed to smile and look at the camera, but one of the parents is checking the kids, and so face down and looking away.
-The photographer is going to be snapping away, because they know that to get 20 good keepers, over 300 shots are going to be needed. The photographer also knows that when young children are involved, things must move quickly, so don’t be surprised when you only get 20-25 images when you could have sworn you heard and saw many more than that being taken. For every final processed shot, usually 10 shots had to be taken to get the right one!
Getting your children familiar with a photo shoot:
Explain to your children in the week before the shoot that they are going to be models, with their very own photographer giving them all the attention. On the first day you bring it up, introduce them to the concept of “striking a pose” (have them do a funny pose and hold it for 5 seconds, make it a game!) Then, on the next day when you bring up the topic again, repeat the game quickly and then explain to them that they will be striking many poses full of smiles while looking right at the photographer. If you break them in little bit each day in the week before your shoot they will be familiar with the idea of the session. This won’t guarantee your kids will be runway models ready to work. But, it will help!
I hope these simple tips help you work with your children for a better session. I will always do my best to get your children to look at me, but at the end of the day, I am a stranger with a big funny camera and there are far more interesting things to do then listen to me!