Preparing your Child for a Session - Bismarck Photographer

I am often asked by parents, "What's the best way to prepare my child for a session?"  I briefly discuss it in my Client Packet but I thought a blog post may be more helpful and allow for more details.  So here goes...

1.  Make sure it's a good time of day for them!  
This may be easier said than done.  I know sometimes we can't be sure of nap times, feeding times, etc.  But, you know your child better than I do.  When you call to book a session, do your best to estimate what time they will be well rested and have a  full tummy.  There will still be times that it doesn't work out so bring reinforcements, little snacks or toys that may perk up their attention.  Side Note:  Try not to bring those things out during the session unless necessary.  They can be a distraction.

2.  Give proper attention to the upcoming day.

I strongly recommend telling your child about the session but not dwelling on it.  This creates undue stress and pressure in their little minds.  If it's a first session for them (or they have had a bad experience previously), they can become scared and emotional - it should be fun and easy for them.  I suggest telling them about it, but don't make it a main topic of conversation for days on end.  Make them part of the event by allowing them to pick out their outfit or a prop they want to bring.

3.  Leave the parenting at home.

WHAT??  I know, I know, this sounds a bit crazy but in all honesty, try not to be such a "parent" during the session.  I am a very hands on parent.  My kids go every where with me and are rarely babysat (I blame my controlling nature).  I have expectations for their behaviors and try to use every opportunity I can to teach them.  So, I'm probably the last person you would expect to say this!  But, parents can often be too involved during the session and create an uneasy child.  Don't be afraid to step back and leave me with your child if they are comfortable with it.  Parenting is a work in progress no matter the child's age so they may make a mistake or do something you don't care for during the session.  That's okay.  We can wait those moments out!  Give them some space to be their natural selves.  And don't feel bad if they happen to be in a mood that day that makes it seem like they are a little more hyper or naughty than usual.  It's totally normal in a strange environment and nothing I haven't seen before!  If we allow those moments to come and go without too much pressure, we can usually get some fun and candid shots!

4.  Bribes are okay!

So, I already told you to slack a little on parenting so why not tell you to bring on the bribes, right?  If your child has a fave treat or toy they have been wanting, make it a bargaining chip.  :)  It may sound bad but the session will go much better if they think it's a special event with a reward in the end.

5.  Relax and smile!

Sometimes there is so much focus on the child, the parent forgets to smile.  I have so many shots of children looking and smiling while the parent has their attention directed to the child.  I totally  understand the temptation.  You are trying to make them smile, sit, look at the camera.  You are whispering instruction or aforementioned bribes :).  But do your best to focus on the camera.  I like the occasional candid shot of mom and dad looking at the kiddos but it's also nice to have those shots where everyone is locked in on the camera.  The more you smile and look at the camera, the more they will too!

Well, those are my top five!  I hope this post is a help to you and your family.  For more tips, feel free to email me requesting a Client Packet.  I am always updating it with new recommendations and information.

Nothing Makes Me Happier... Bismarck Children Photographer

Nothing makes me happier than taking a little boy like this:

Little Boy tired of Pictures

You know...the average four year old's response to pictures.  

And then take him to this...

I mean really, that's what my job is all about!  Not only capturing the moments but trying to make them real for the subjects.  It brings great joy when I see a smile on their lil faces!

Sweet Eyes and Bouncy Curls - Bismarck Children Photographer

 This was just a quick session but I got so many faces out of this lil guy!  I've gotten to know him well in the last year and he is sweet as can be. 

Just precious!!

The "H" Boys

Are you ready for some of the most amazing eyes you've ever seen?  These little boys were so adorable.  It was a quick session but I still enjoyed the time with them.

Don't they just make you smile!?

Fun Times...Bismarck Family Photographer

This session with some of my close friends was filled with sunshine, clouds, and rain!  I couldn't believe how many times I had to change my white balance and exposure settings.  But it was so worth it!

Baby K was happy the whole time.  I just loved his sweet, and maybe a little flirty.  :)

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