Having been in this business for over 15 years and getting the same questions a lot, I realized that a lot of parents have the same doubts and fears about their photo sessions. And you think you are alone, but it’s just not true! And so here are the 5 things that I, and pretty much every photographer wishes you knew…
1. Go with the flow and let me guide you.
There will always be a reason for my choice of position and pose. Try to allow me to direct the session, relax and go with the flow. Hopefully you chose me to be your photographer because you like my images! I took ALL the pictures you see on my website without any help or direction. I know what a real smile looks like, I know where the light is best, and I know that you don’t want that fire hydrant to show up in the background of your picture. I’m good at this. Trust me.
2. All kids are a little nuts.
You know when you go to a teacher-parent night and the teacher describes your child as hard working, polite and well behaved? Then you look at each other and try to suppress a laugh, wondering whether they have the right kid? The same applies here.
Kids will always respond better for someone else.
Nothing winds up parents faster than seeing their children misbehave or get a little crazy during a photoshoot, but I’m gonna let you in on a little secret: they ALL do! I need to excite and play with them in order to establish an authentic connection, but I am also great at calming them back down and centering their attention onto the camera when it’s time for pictures. There’s no need to stress that your children are being “bad”… they’re being kids and I honestly love the challenge! There is very little they can say or do that will horrify me.
It’s equally ok if they are shy. We’ll take our time to bring them out of themselves and there are ways we can capture them without them necessarily being too far away from you.
3. Daddy, be cool!
Ok Dad’s, I get it. I already know that this is not on your Top Ten List of Favorite Things To Do on a Saturday Morning. I rarely get a Dad who is actually looking forward to the perceived trauma of a session but I also rarely get one that doesn’t enjoy it just a little. It’s one little hour out of your life and we will make it as fun for you as possible. See it as an hour to play with your kids without any distractions. Make some memories, when you see the images you won’t even remember that you were feeling a bit blah about it all. I promise to make the shoot as painless as possible… I’ve got your back.
4. Moms are all self-conscious.
I haven’t worked with a single mom yet who isn’t self-conscious when it comes to being in the photographs. I’m just as bad when it’s my turn in front of the camera. Have faith in the fact that you will be placed in a flattering way in nice light and you will be photographed from a good angle. And remember to be in the moment and have fun too. Connections and emotions are what we’re looking for– they make the best images to hang on any wall! YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. YOU ARE UNIQUE. Do not hide what makes you YOU. Your kids are going to cherish the photo of you laughing right alongside them for years to come.
5. This session is super important to me too.
I know how much time you will have taken over this session. You will have scoured the internet looking for the right photographer. You will have had a stressful time getting everyone out of the door with clean clothes and hair and you’ll probably not have has nearly as much time to do your own hair and make-up as you would have liked.
I totally get how much is invested in this session at your end but believe me it is more than equaled at the photographers end too. Photographers want to impress you, they want to nail that perfect shot again and again, they want you to love what we have worked so hard to create together!
You’re nervous. I get it. And here’s the thing – I’m nervous too!
I will have been prepping for your session for a good few nights beforehand and my head will be swimming with where we will go, how I’ll move you from one pose to another and what methods I’ll use to get the very best shots of your kids.
However, once we get started and we all relax a bit the nerves will subside and things will start to flow. Remember, we’re here to have fun!
We care. Big time!
I hope this gives you a little insight into a photographer’s viewpoint of the inner-workings of basically any and all sessions we photograph, and we know it’s a big investment. You are not alone with your thoughts, doubts, and worries about your session. I’ll be right here with you every step of the way because I want it to be a success too! Please reach out if you have any questions!