Just like us they totally don’t know what to do with their hands! lol They are in a new environment that they may or may have not been in before. Kids are told to smile and they see flashing lights and they just don’t understand sometimes! It’s completely not their fault. They are still learning the world and how they should act. I complied this list of over 350+ sessions. I will tell you my favorite tips for some of my best sessions and things all of those favs have in common!
Make sure outside factors are taken care of.
Make sure they are wearing comfortable clothes. I know you just bought this cute cute outfit but if they hate it…if it’s itchy or uncomfortable you will not get the photos you were hoping for. You can try on the outfit at home first. Make sure you wash it so the stiffness is gone that comes with new clothes. If they are wearing shoes make sure they have worn them before the session.
Schedule your session at a time your baby is happy!
Are they happiest after breakfast? Let’s go with that time or after nap time? Are they happier in the morning or afternoon? I have one of each an early riser that’s always happy and a night owl who loves sessions more in the afternoon. So even though the light is not perfect right after lunch this is when I do photoshoots of my own children because they are both happy and comfortable. We just find a nice shady spot and let the magic happen. If you can’t get off work during the week I have Saturday spots available. Do you love that sunset look but your baby is grumpy at night? Let’s do a sunrise session! Beautiful sunrise light has a similar look and people often forget about these sessions. It’s so fun to get the babies ready have the session and bribe them with donuts after! I’m not above bribing. Best time for light are sunrise or sunset unless it’s cloudy or overcast then it’s perfect during the day. But even if it’s not “prime time” we can always make it work! We can put them in the shade…get pretty backlit bright shots…we will make it work!
Give them time.
They are in a new environment. Let them get comfortable. Get comfortable with their surroundings and get comfortable with me. Even the shyest kiddos have opened up after 5-10 minutes of getting to know me. I will show them my camera. I have often let them take my picture and show them that it can be fun.
Let them be themselves!
Kids are crazy! Look it’s a no judgement zone. I love the crazy! I love kids more than I can ever explain! I love their quirks and what makes them belly laugh. Are they runners? That’s fine just let me back up and get them running to you! Do what you do at home to play with them! Do you spin them around? Do you tackle them and attack their cute little belly buttons? Do you tickle them? Do you play tag? Do you put them on your feet and do airplane? Just be yourself and have fun! The perfect family poses will happen naturally and you’ll get cuter, more genuine smiles when you make it fun for them. No yelling please. If they think they are in trouble they will be grumpy mcgrumperson. I’m not telling you how to parent! I yell at my kids just as much as the next mom or dad! But in this situation gentle redirection will really help your babies stay happy and let them be a little crazy because in truth they are a little crazy and that’s why they are perfect in their own way! For little kids 1-3 it’s always great to bring their favorite toy so I can get them to look at me.
Yep I mean you mom and dad. Kids can completely feel your vibes. They are still learning how to deal with situations and look to you for how they should react to a situation. If you are comfortable they are more likely to be comfortable too. Keep it fun and light hearted. The worst that can happen is that we have to reshoot if you don’t like your photos! It’s only happened one time in 350 sessions besides a few (I think 3 newborn sessions). You will get beautiful photos rest assured and they will be that much more special because if you make it fun I will see those beautiful moments you see all the time of your babies belly laughing, their quirky nose scrunch, and those perfect quiet moments we sometime overlook when they are just perfect in their angelic curiosity.
This isn’t a perfect list as nothing in life is perfect. This is just a guide to help those parents that don’t know what to do at a session. Just be yourself. There’s no one “you-er” than you and there’s no one in the world that knows your baby or children the way you do! You know what makes them happy! Just let me be the bystander and capture your beautiful relationship!