If you’ve opted for a session just for your little one, here are some tips to get you and your little ready for the session.
-Usually when I photograph kids by themselves, we make it a mini session, which means it lasts between 15 and 30 minutes, however long we can get your little to open up and work the camera. After about 20 minutes most younger children are pretty much over a photo session. This is when it’s time to bring out the big gun bribes.
-Speaking of bribes, you can’t use them the entire session, you want to offer a bribe at the most three times during a session, but twice is best! If you start out the session with one bribe and it’s own reward, (If you do a good job through the whole session, you’ll get a toy afterwards!) then at the 10 minute mark you can offer a treat/snack/sugary surprise. And one final one if really needed to finish in the last 5 minutes.
Speaking of SUGAR, do not start off your child with sugar! You may think it will be good to give them a sugar rush, but all it does is make their focus non existent, so getting them to look at my camera and stand still even for 5 seconds becomes impossible. Use a sugary treat about 15 minutes in, or 10 if they are dwindling quickly. By the time the sugar hits their system the session is done, however you made them very happy by letting them munch on a sugary snack really quickly, so they will most likely finish the session off strong.
-Do not forget water and wet naps for your kid, as soon as they get hot and sweaty they will loose enthusiasm, so it is best to be prepared to pat them down and cool them off. Also, if your doing a beach session, bring a light windbreaker, every beach on Cape Cod is super windy, all year long. Always.
-If your kid is in between 7-15 years of age, they may want their space from you. Please don’t take this personal if it does happen. I’ve seen it first hand, once I realized that the kid was negatively reacting to directions being given by the parent, I had to very politely ask the parent to step back about 30 yards. Again, I don’t want parents to take this personal, your kid still loves you, but sometimes they need space and will be more receptive to my camera if they feel all the pressure just let go. So take a step back and observe, try not to tell them how to stand. Again, this isn’t the photographer telling the parents they don’t know how to make your kid pose, I know you do! But, your kid most likely takes orders from you all the time, letting me come in with a soft demeanor and having you stand back and just enjoy the show makes a huge difference, especially with shy kids!