Your session is right around the corner! Are you ready? We’ve prepared a checklist of things for you to remember in order to make sure your child is prepared for their big day!
1. Don’t forget to feed your child before the session. Also, pack snacks just in case hunger strikes again while we’re shooting. But think of snacks that are simple and no mess. We don’t want any crumbs on lips in the final images!
2. Bring more than one outfit. Make sure you always have backup clothes just in case. And we suggest that you don’t change your child into their session clothing until after you have fed her. Also, be very careful with drinks, as well – only clear liquids in a safe cup.
3. Let your child help when picking out their clothes for the session. By letting your child wear his favorite shirt or shoes, etc. this will help him feel more comfortable and involved. If his chosen outfit doesn’t match or fit the styling, see if you can use that shirt as an undershirt or tell him he can put it on for a couple of shots at the end of the session.
4. If you have a young child, try to get them to nap during the day so she is well rested and happy for photos.
5. Be creative with incentives that motivate. Often times I bring along little goodie bags for kids to help them be motivated to listen to directions and it also helps them relax knowing I have something special just for them!
6. If you have an outdoor shoot planned, it’s helpful to arrive a little earlier than our meeting time so that your children can have a run around, relax, and are in good spirits when the shoot gets started.
This will set the session up positively, and gives them a chance to let off some steam before the shoot, rather than if you’ve just got out of the car and rushed to meet your photographer.
7. Talk to your child about the session and explain what’s going to happen. If your child is informed about the situation, it will be less scary for her when she comes to the session. Tell her that she is going to meet a new friend who is going to take some pictures of her. Let her know that you’ll be there with her and that we are going to have lots of fun. We might change her clothes once or twice and ask her to just have fun. During the session, we can show her a couple of the photos so she can put two and two together.
8. If your children are aged 7 or under, it’s probably quite likely that they’ll have a moment on the shoot. I’m expecting it to happen at some point, and I’m sure that most other experienced photographers are too. So if it does happen please don’t worry! I actually find that during mischievous moments I can capture lots of personality.
If it does happen and your child has a wobble, I’m sure you’ll want to step in and try to calm your child down. However, it can sometimes be more helpful for you (and other siblings) to step out of your child’s sight; without an audience children are often a lot more focussed, particularly around people they don’t know so well!
If you have a young baby or toddler then they may need a little more support from you to stay focussed. This could be anything from singing a favourite song, or giving the photographer one of their favourite teddies to hold. Just ask the photographer what they need you to do.
9. I have lots of trick up my sleeve to gain children’s attention leave all that up to me! But something helpful is to know a few of your child’s favourite things so I can bring them up while talking.