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