Updated: Jul 1
So here's a scenario for you.
You really want to get some nice family photos done because all the photos of the kids are pretty average and you're not in most of them. But then a dilemma pops up....... How on earth will the kids sit still enough for photos, let alone smile? Well here are 5 great tips to help you book that fun photoshoot with confidence!
#1 - Prepare kids ahead of time
Often kids aren't too pleased when they haven't been warned about a photoshoot and are expected to smile and have fun. So I always advise my clients to have a chat with their kids beforehand about the photoshoot. Tell them that they are going to go on a bit of an adventure and take some photos, but most importantly have fun! I find that kids tend to look forward to the shoots when pre-prepared and see it as something different and exciting.
#2 - Let them be a bit wild!
I'm sure the idea of your children running manically isn't appealing when you just want them to sit still and smile. But kids tend to be quite uncooperative when they're told to do something that isn't interesting. When they are able to run around, have fun and be themselves, that's when the authentic shots take place. And it tends to wear them out a bit too ;)
#3 - Games are king
Do your kids love being tickled or chased by dad? What about catching bubbles or playing with a specific toy? Each family has its own little tricks to get a smile or a laugh, and these are so helpful to photographers. So be sure to bring along your arsenal of fun activities that are sure to make them smile.
#4 - Bribery has its place
We've all heard it before - "If you stop crying now you can have a lolly!" Some kids just won't work with you unless bribed with treats or rewards, no matter what you do. And whilst resorting to waving the treats in their faces may not sound appealing, often it works. And treats don't have to be all food-related. These can be smaller rewards such as getting a piggy-back on the way to the car. It's always a good idea to have a bribery back-up plan.
#5 - Be a silly sausage
I know that when I talk in a ridiculous voice and flap my arms in the air, my son cracks up in laughter. He also thoroughly enjoys it when I fall over and slightly injur myself, but I don't suggest you do that.
Each child has an 'Achilles heel' to make them laugh or smile, so don't be afraid to act like a fool and use this to your advantage! And also don't be surprised if I jump on board the silliness too.
In conclusion, photoshoots with children usually never go to plan, especially for parents. But that's ok! Try to relax and go with the flow with these tips in mind. I always come prepared for working with kids and hopefully these tips help calm and prepare the anxious mum.