Every year, we've been privileged to do Fall Family Shoots. This year has been no exception. We love how excited people get for the fall and for the upcoming holidays, but we get just as equally excited to shoot the love and laughter between families.
But sometimes, when dealing with little ones, parents don't feel joyful or full of laughter - they are stressed. Here are a couple helpful tips to help you help yourselves when planning a family photo shoot with little ones.
1. Timing is everything.
You know your kiddos best and you know when they are the happiest. We don't mind waking up early on a Saturday morning, if that means that everyone will be all smiles. We don't mind navigating the harsh overhead midday sun if that means that your toddlers will be happy and relaxed. Plan your photo shoot around their natural schedule.
2. Practice beforehand.
In this day and age, everyone has a camera handy all the time, so use that cell phone camera to your advantage. Get your little ones used to having a camera nearby, looking up when you say their name, sitting still for a moment when you have a camera out. Even just letting them get familiar with the 'clicks' a camera can make can make a world of difference on photo shoot day.
We know your child's laugh is that one thing you want captured in a photograph - but we don't know their favorite song, silly sound, or beloved noisemaking toy that will get their giggle out. You do. Figure out what will always get that laugh and bring it with you. We promise no judgment will be passed if you're doing a crazy dance, saying a silly word, or belting out Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star - we'll probably join in!
It's heartbreaking to us to capture that perfect expression on a young child's face, only to see that the parents have looks of worry, stress, and anxiety on theirs. Relax. We'll get the shot. But you need to be ready for when we do. Look at the camera when we're shooting. Hold your child in a way that feels comfortable for you. Just because someone else precariously balanced their child on a shelf for their photos, doesn't mean that you have to ; don't ever attempt anything that feels dangerous or uncomfortable. It's more important to us that you're enjoying the moment, than worrying about how the moment will look on camera.
5. Be yourselves.
As beautiful as all those perfectly-staged pinterest-inspired toddler photos are, not every kid is going to smile on a bench while having a tea party with an overstuffed teddy bear. We get it. Your kid likes to run. Or climb. Or eat fistfuls of dirt. It's okay. Let them run, climb, cling to their ratty blanket, put things in their mouth and get dirty. This is who they are today. This is your reality. And it's beautiful. Let us capture these moments - those dirt-eating pictures will be fond memories in the future.