Capturing Personalities In Portraits ~ The Portrait Rodeo

The Portrait Rodeo

For some of you, especially those of you with young children, the thought of having family portraits created makes your hands clammy and fills you with more dread than a root canal. I understand.

Children have abundant stores of energy and usually choose to release bursts at the most unexpected times. These bursts often bring about fits of laughter in those of us who are friends and grandparents, but generally, parents feel that getting those kiddos to behave is like wresting a rodeo steer. You prepare to wrangle them and tire them out.

Capturing Personalities in Portraits

When the time comes for taking that trip to see me, here are a few tips for getting the best portraits of your children that you’ll cherish forever.

I know I’m not the only one who laughs at silly family portraits online. You know what I’m talking about; those awkward family photos. Everyone is trying to be so serious while one child is knuckle deep in his nasal cavity. Consider this: Staid and static is boring.

With me, playfulness is encouraged.

iRobot

Here’s my suggestion to parents of toddlers and young children before we start our photo session. Don’t expect your kids to suddenly become little robots, who will sit still until you give them the command to move.

The expressiveness and unabashed nature of a child is really what we want to capture. When your adorable rambunctious 4-year-old has grown up and suddenly breaks out the old photo album, laughter trumps cringing any day of the week.

During the time I spend behind the lens with the children, I want to not only see, but feel their energy and personality in the finished portraits. Believe me. You’ll thank me later.

Remember, our precious babes are small for such a short period of time. It’s so much more fun to capture that magic together and then enjoy your portraits for a lifetime.

Can’t You Just Settle Down?

What I encourage parents to understand is not to expect the tykes to settle down. How has that worked the rest of the time? I thought so. Let them have fun with the whole process. There will come a day when your kids will stand still and smile in front of the camera. That might not be today.

My motto is: If they want to run, let ‘em run… and jump… and twirl. Let them burn off the excess energy. If that expressiveness is stifled, you better believe it’ll show up in the pictures.

To sum this all up, kids will be kids. Every moment is fleeting and never to be repeated. Try to relax and enjoy the ride.

As they grow older, you’ll long for these days. Enjoy their exuberance and innocence. Make memories for your children by letting their personalities shine like diamonds in these photos.

Do a little exercise for me now. Think about what brings you joy. I bet a screaming and crying child was not conjured.

So, in order to set you up for success for your next family portrait session, do these things I suggest. You will love your family’s portraits displayed on your wall!

Wouldn’t you like your memories to reflect the sweet, silly and fun time you spent with your family in front of the camera? I thought so.

I Capture Personalities in Portraits!

Let’s create a fun session for you and your family.

For Portrait Ideas, check out my galleries here
Portraits Ideas

I am a Southern California based Portrait and Fine Art Photographer who sees the world a bit differently.

You can view more of my work here
Donna Edman Photography

To schedule a session or chat about your Family Portrait experience, call me! 
(714) 746-2418

Together, we can capture YOUR FAMILY’S LIFE, One Image at a Time!

Capturing Personalities In Portraits ~ Let Kids Be Kids

In Part 1 of this series, I encouraged parents of small children to enjoy the “Portrait Rodeo” ride.  Expect kids to run around and be silly or to be shy and observant.  The expressiveness and unabashed nature of a child is what I want to capture in your family portraits.  To read the Part 1, click here:  Capturing Personalities In Portraits

Let’s continue…

Encourage, Don’t Discourage 

Each child has their own individual personality, and it’s that uniqueness you want to capture. Encourage them to make faces and behave silly for the camera. These are the “Kodak” moments. When they make silly sounds and whisper goofy secrets, the results are genuine expressions.

It’s Not Play Time? 

It may seem counter intuitive but preparing for family photos is exactly the time to play. Getting your wee one to act natural in an unnatural situation isn’t easy. Making up games, or playing old standbys, like Simon Says, can be an excellent way to get your stiff soldier to loosen up and have some fun.

If your shy, quiet child won’t smile, try playing a game where they’re not allowed to smile. Reverse psychology works.  Music works too!  Load up a few of their favorite songs on your phone.  Of course, for your wee ones, singing a few verses of “Baby Shark do do do do do do” is always engaging.

Security Blankets and Well-Loved Toys

Another tip I like to tell my parents is to bring props (e.g., favorite toys, stuffed animals, sports equipment, and hats) which is a good way to get your child to focus on something else besides the lens.

Candid portraits with an unaware child at play can be the best. I know you weren’t expecting to have a pink bunny in your photos, but a big smile on your little one’s face is priceless.

Take a Break

No matter if the session lasts 20 minutes or two hours, kids are always either starving to death or dying of thirst (when they’re not running to the bathroom) within ten minutes of starting the session. Am I right?

Children’s metabolism is usually on eleven and they burn more fuel than a fighter jet.  It’s wise to pack water or juice and some light, non-sticky snacks — snacks that do not melt on their face or stick in their teeth.

Now, whether you use it as a reward or bribery is up to your discretion.

Relax – Kids will be Kids!

To sum this all up, kids will be kids. Every moment is fleeting and never to be repeated. Try to relax and enjoy the ride.

As they grow older, you’ll long for these days. Enjoy their exuberance and innocence. Make memories for your children by letting their personalities shine like diamonds in these portraits.

Here’s what Mary says about this session with her two running kiddos…

“Donna is an amazing photographer.  How easy it was to work with her including our two small children.  We’re never sure how the kids will react to strangers.  They felt right at ease with Donna.  We love our family photos!”

While you are preparing for your portrait session, think about letting your kids be themselves. Think about how we’ll capture their genuine expressions and how you’ll love your family’s portraits displayed.

Wouldn’t you like your memories to reflect the sweet, silly and fun time you spent with your family in front of the camera? I thought so.

I Capture Personalities in Portraits.

Let’s create a fun session for you and your family!

For Portrait Ideas, check out my galleries here
Portraits Ideas

I am a Southern California based Portrait and Fine Art Photographer who sees the world a bit differently.

You can view more of my work here
Donna Edman Photography.

To schedule a session or chat about your Family Portrait experience, call me! 
(714) 746-2418

Together, we can capture YOUR FAMILY’S LIFE, One Image at a Time!