When it comes to family portraits most parents’ number one concern is how to get their little ones to pose and co-operate during the photo shoot. There are always challenges to face when trying to get everyone in the family to look their best and look at the camera at the same time, but it is not something you need to stress about.
We have put together a guide to help you prepare your young ones (and not so young ones!) for their big day in front of the camera whether it's for family photos or individual portraits.
- Schedule the shoot around your kids
It’s best to organise your photo shoot time around your kids’ schedule. So do your best to work around naps or feeding times so they aren't fussy or cranky during the shoot. We have worked with thousands of kids and there is no doubt that happy kids take far better photos which probably doesn't come as much of a surprise. But it can be very easy to forget this and unintentionally work around your own schedule, rather than what the best times for your kids might be. If you're getting photos of your family, having your children looking their best is certainly going to be a top priority. So the more you can do to make the experience happy and fun, the better your portraits will turn out.
- Make it a big deal so they are excited about it
You want your children to be excited about their photo shoot so let them know about it well in advance. Explain to them what is going to happen and talk to them about what they can expect when they get here. Make it into a special occasion so they can get more excited and interested in taking part in it. Getting them excited about getting their photo taken will make a huge difference to their reactions when they finally get in front of the camera. Let them choose their favourite outfit to wear, so they feel involved. Even if mum and dad have to provide a few suggestions along the way to direct them away from the superhero outfits, try your best to have them pick their own clothing or at least part of it. They will feel more engaged with what's about to happen. If it helps, we can even take a number of photos in their special outfit and then change if that is not the look you are after.
- Bribes as a backup plan for kids that need a bit extra motivation
While you may not like the idea of using a bribe, offering a special treat (be it a chocolate or small toy) after the photo shoot may help little people to behave. A small treat can go a long way in helping avoid the additional stress of an uncooperative toddler/child. That extra motivation can really help if they are having a 'moment' at just the wrong time. Most kids love the experience and feel quite special getting in front of the camera but it doesn't hurt to have a backup plan right?
- Let your photographer give the directions
It's natural for parents to want to give their children directions during a shoot or make adjustments to their clothing but this often leads to parents not looking at the camera themselves. Don't be so concerned with what your kids are doing that it affects how you look in the photos. Let us take the reins, we have done this countless times before and have dealt with everything you can imagine. You just need to focus on looking your best and being camera ready yourself. Kids also tend to listen better to another adult, so it can make everything a lot easier for everyone.
Nicholas not only has years of experience photographing families, he has years of experience in organising children – he has four of his own and knows a thing or two about negotiating with little people. Let us worry about them, and you worry and you.
- Enjoy the experience
Of course, we understand that you want each shot to be amazing, but your focus should be on enjoying the moment with your family and children. More often than not the most picture-perfect moments are the ones that don't seem so perfect in the moment. Don't set expectations of how you want the perfect family portrait. Instead, focus on having the perfect family moments. We are trying to capture your family in the most natural way possible and that really shines through when you are happily interacting with each other. The more fun you are having the more fun your kids will have too and the better your shots will be.