Preparing for your portrait session

So you’ve booked a session, but then you get a horrible feeling in the pit of your stomach.  WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO?!  My kids will never cooperate, what are we going to wear, how is this going to work?!

Relax!  I promise all will be alright.  Just know, that I don’t expect “perfect,” in fact, I’d rather it not be perfect.  I’d rather capture the real.  And real life is far from perfect.  Life is messy and crazy.  (some maybe a little more than others..haha) So let me capture your crazy! 🙂Preparing for your portrait session

In this blog post, I’m going to give you some tips to help you prepare for your portraitsession so you can relax and really enjoy the session, because I want it to be a super fun experience, not one you dread! Here we go..

Talk to your kids about it starting a couple weeks before hand.  Just like it is a little nerve wrecking for us to be thrown into a situation we are unsure about, kids feel the same way most of the time.  (you always have your extroverts out there that love doing anything with other people..but for the rest of us..)  Explain to them that you will be meeting up with me and that I will have a camera in hand and I will be taking photos of them having fun! Say something like, “We are going to meet Erica.  She’s going to be hanging out with us, playing games and taking some photos of us having fun!!” Don’t tell them, they need to cooperate and smile at me all the time.  Make it fun.  Don’t make them dread it before they even get here!

DON’T bribe your kids with things.  I have read in a couple different places, that bribing your kids with things if they do a good job with photos, is kinda like telling them that, photos (or whatever you are bribing them for) is going to be awful.  In fact, they will be so awful, we feel we need to give you something for making it through.  lol.  Maybe that is a little exaggerated, but it kinda makes sense!  It goes back to the above statement.  Make it about having fun!  Spending time with you is really what kids want anyway.  Let them know that they will have your undivided attention.Preparing for your portrait session -4Relax. Do some yoga before you come if you need too!  But seriously..this is not meant to be some ridged session, where everyone has to be posed a certain way and all smile in your cheesiest smiles at the camera.  I’m surely not trying to get on one of those sites that shows the most awkward photos or anything, so I’m not going to stand you a certain way and tell you to say cheese.  Promise.  And while talking about cheese…please, DON’T tell your child to say cheese.  Saying cheese just gets you a cheesy smile, not a genuine one, and most likely you won’t be as happy with the cheesy smile.  Let me chat with your kid, and see if I can work a real smile out!

Don’t force your child to do anything he doesn’t want to do.  Some kids take awhile to loosen up or just needs to warm up to me.  If I ask them to do something and they don’t want to do it..it’s OK.  I’ll keep chatting and working on them.  Eventually they warm up to me.  I don’t rush your session.  If we need a little extra time to get to know each other, then that is what we shall do.Preparing for your portrait session -1Try not to get stressed when your child acts out.  Believe it or not…your child is not the only child that acts out from time to time.  They are just trying to get you all flustered.   Ignore it, let me do my thing and they are most likely going to give up on making you mad.  lol.  Remember I have 4 kids, and I have photographed hundreds of children and families over the last five years.  I’ve pretty much seen it all and I have a MILLION times more patience with someone else’s kid than my own.  So take a deep breathe and roll with it..it doesn’t bother me a bit and I totally won’t think of you any less of a parent..because we have ALL been there before! 🙂

Make sure kids are fed and napped.  Kids do better if they are rested and have full tummies.  I know I get hangry when hungry, so I understand! lol.  If it’s too early to eat dinner before the session, give a little snack or bring some snacks along  I’m totally ok if we need to take a snack break.  I roll with the flow!Preparing for your portrait session -2

Not every photo needs to be posed and looking.  I like to grab a couple more loosely posed images with you looking, but I also love the ones where you are connecting with one another.  So instead of awkwardly looking at me and smiling the entire time follow my lead and talk, laugh, play, and love on your family!  Those are the real moments that you will end up loving the most when looking through your photos.  Nothing is wrong with grabbing some photos where you are all looking, but don’t get stressed when your children don’t look and smile every time.Preparing for your portrait session -6

Newborn photos with older siblings.  This can be hard.  Many times older siblings are very young when coming in for newborn photos.  It can be difficult sometimes, but i’m willing to work for it!  What you can do, is again, talk to them about it.  Let them hold baby, touch baby, before the session.  Tell them, that they will be holding baby at the session (younger kids, I typically have them laying on their back with the baby in their arms beside them) and that I will be taking their photo.  Children always do much better if you give them a little idea of what to expect.Preparing for your portrait session -5

I’m pretty sure that by now, you are getting the overall theme of a session with me…FUN!!  My goal is for you to have a good time and thoroughly enjoy the process.  Please come, relaxed, and ready to spend time with your beautiful family!  Let your kids be kids and enjoy every single moment..and while your at it, you get to have me capture it all for you. 🙂

Interested in a session, just click the contact me tab underneath the post, for more information!

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