Tips for parents on how to prepare kids for a family shoot
Picture this – you’ve just booked a much-anticipated family photoshoot, and you’re buzzing with excitement! You envision your kids being in high spirits on the day, grinning from ear to ear, playing sweetly, snuggling up to you, and following your photographer’s guidance with ease. You hope to create those stunning family portraits you’ve admired in your photographer’s portfolio. BUT sometimes, kids have their own agendas, and they’re not always keen on letting them go. It might feel like your worst nightmare is unfolding, and the photoshoot is teetering on the edge of disaster. You wanted to capture joyful family moments, but your child is uncooperative and tearful despite your best efforts to engage with them.
Here are my tips for parents:
- Embrace the moment and let go of control. Allow your child to do what they want while capturing photos with the more cooperative family members
- Remember, kids often mirror their parents’ behavior. If you’re tense and frustrated, your child may feel uneasy too. Relax and smile to create a safe and comfortable atmosphere, and their mood will likely improve.
- Give your child time to adjust to the photographer and the new situation. They may not have fully understood where you were going and why.
- Allow your child to take a break, run around, or sit on the sidelines. Often, kids will rejoin the fun once they see their parents enjoying themselves without them.
- Avoid forcing your child to pose and smile. One awkward prompt can shift their attitude.
- If your child resists taking photos, smile back at them, and ask what game they’d like to play. After all, you’re there to have a fantastic time together.
- Refrain from scolding or demanding that they behave, listen, and stop making faces.
- Don’t use sweets or treats as bribes during or after the shoot. Kids can become fixated on the reward, while the real prize is your undivided attention and quality time together.
- If your child continues to frown or make faces, let the photographer capture it. It’s a part of their personality and a story in itself. Years later, you can look back and say, “See how determined you were at a young age and how you always knew what you wanted!”
Be gentle with one another. Even if your photoshoot isn’t going as planned, trust the process and your photographer. An experienced photographer has navigated similar situations before and remains confident and composed – beautiful photos will happen regardless!