There can be anxiety around having family photos taken and my.
Maybe, you have a session booked with me this fall, or maybe you have a session with another fellow photographer, but either way, there is a good chance you are wondering how you will prepare your kiddos. You have invested your valuable time and money into this experience and you want it to go perfectly. Here are a few tips on how to prepare your kids for your family photography session.
- First, read the “What To Wear Guide”
- This will help you get the best and most appropriate clothing in order.
- Trust your photographer. I am a lifestyle family photographer. You will be sensitive to all the minor misbehaviors that are happening but I see right through that. Lifestyle photography gives you the freedom to relax and let go of perfection. My job isn't to make you look perfect or to make your children behave perfectly and sit straight up on a stiff chair with a stiff smile. No, no. My job is to show you that your children are absolutely perfect just the way they are. I photograph hundreds of families each year and know how to get almost every child to relax and allow me to capture them. You hired me because you love what you see on my portfolio. Allow me to turn your children into art. I promise I will.
- Tell them what will happen. I am a firm believer in being very upfront with children. The days leading up to the session tell them that a friend is going to be taking their family photos. Tell them that we are going to go to a really fun park or beach and that we are going to play. Tell them that your friend will be asking them to stand and sit in a few different ways. Tell them you expect them to be in the photos. You can tell them that it will be pretty fast. My shoots are usually 45 minutes to an hour and I still get loads of photos.
4. Show them past family photos. When kids know that this experience will result in a series of fun photos of themselves, they may be more excited. Even if you only have iPhone photos to show them, the effect is the same. Most kids LOVE to see photos of themselves.
5. Make sure that they are fed and rested. I know. We just talked and I said we had to shoot at 7 pm to get the best light. But this can be remedied by putting them down for a late nap that day or if they don't' nap, clearing your schedule on photo day to allow them to rest before the shoot. Don't go on a hike and then to a soccer game on the same day as your photo shoot. Make your photos session the main event. Feed them dinner or a big snack before the session so they aren't hangry. Hungry kids are never easy to work with.
6. Offer a little reward for tolerating the session. Notice how I didn't say bribe. I actually see that back fire a bit when parents say "remember that ice cream cone?" In a super frustrated voice. Instead before the shoot say "as a family we are going to go out for burgers and shakes after the session is over." Or whatever sounds good. Just make the whole experience one of bonding and fun.
7. I will never make your child smile. If they smile, it will be because they are actually happy. I am okay with honest, pensive portraits of children. I also will never make your child leave your arms if they don't feel comfortable. I will capture them exploring and being them and then sneak in some portraits along the way.
I promise you my sessions are fun and relaxed. My style is laid back. I have had many families tell me the kids actually said they had fun after my session and I think probably that's why they come back year after year. Because we actually have fun!
I can't wait for all the sessions I have coming up in the next few months! I hope you are excited too.
Anita Barcsa is self-taught, multiple award-winning photographer who gained recognition in 2013 when her work was first exhibited at an international art exhibit in New York. In 2018-2019 she was honored to win Best of San Jose Family Photographer and was the silver medalist in 2018 Bronze medalist in 2019 the Bay Area - Peninsula Family Photographer. She was recently featured as one of 14 Amazing Photographers in the San Francisco - Bay Area (McGuire Magazine) and featured as 11 Best Photographers in the Bay Area (PeerSpace).