In hindsight I should have known better, I am a photographer after all. We arrived for our family pictures at 6pm with two starving children; one who extravagantly posed in front of the camera for each click (vogue hands and all), and one who did not want any part of the next hour in front of the camera. I brought nothing to entertain them in between poses, and of course there were a lot of screaming and crying, with puffy eyes to top it all off … ugh … epic family photo fail!
If any of you have been in this situation, you are not the only one. I tell all my clients ways to prepare for a shoot, but I clearly did not follow any of my own rules … tut tut tut, bad photographer lol! So I decided to let you all in on my little secretes to have the photo shoot of your dreams :)
1. Location, Location, Location!
Picking a great location not only means a great background, but also a variety of pictures to choose from in the end. To find out more about choosing a great location check out this post!
2. Dress For Success
Above all else, you want to dress so you are comfortable for the shoot. If you are not comfortable, it will show in the photos. Please check out my post about what to wear for your shoot by clicking HERE :) For the little ones, it is my recommendation that you wait to dress them until you are at the location for the shoot. This will limit the amount of time they have to get dirty or spill on their clean clothes. Oh and that brings me to another point, wear clothing that doesn’t stain easily, and thay you would feel comfortable sitting on the ground in!
3. Scheduling The Time Of A Shoot
The absolute best time of the day for a photo shoot is Golden Hour; the last hour or so before sunset. The light is warm, and sooooo pretty during this time and does not cast hard shadows across the face like a lunch time session would most likely do. Check out this golden hour light …
Also, if you have wee ones who still take naps, it would be a good idea not to schedule your session just before nap time, or right after nap time. If any has kids like mine it takes them at least an hour to get back to their normal cheerful selves after a nap!
4. Treats & Attention Getters for the Little Ones!
I am not at all above bribery lol, it works very well with my kids ;) Though remember to bring a treat that will not stain the clothes such as candy rockets, or light colored gummy bears. I would also recommend to pack a snack, and drink for your kids as this can help rejuvenate them once they start to become uninterested.
I like to bring my bubble machine which makes millions of bubbles, and tends to a cue for big smiles :) Another thing you could bring is your child’s favorite stuffy, book, or doll. These things can be used to get your child looking in the right direction, or soothe them when feeling overwhelmed my all the photos being taken.
Be prepared to be silly … I mean “I can’t believe I did that in public” kind of silly lol! Sing a song your kid loves with the wrong words in it, make up a silly rhyme about their nose or feet, pretend to be an animal, play simon says, tell knock knock jokes, the list is endless.