How much do we all want, love, and need photos of our children as they grow? Of course that goes without saying but sometimes it's easier said than done. Most of us (even me) end up with a folder full of blurry, dark, or just confusing shots because let's face it, kids will be kids! Children don't always have the same agenda but they don't all need to be fails, we can still get amazing, fun shots of our little ones and have a lasting good memory to go with it. So don't give up, try our tips below and have fun!
1. Setup before or enlist the help
There are 2 amazing ways to approach this family fun session! One you can create this fun background or choose your spot then surprise your little ones or have them help set it up. Think simple and fun when choosing how to do this. Have a little princess? Give her a crown, pretty dress, and maybe some flowers. Make this about your kids and they will give you the photos you've been hoping for.
The photos shared on this blog are from my personal family fun session. My little one is very active (I feel the word very should be in Cap Locks and bold to get that point across) and he's not to found of sitting still for photos. Because of this we like to showcase his personality, grab a blank slate (even a blank wall), and we take a silly time out to get great shots.
2. What are your expectations?
As a parent we always have this plan in our heads of how we want things to be and how they should be. Now with a raise of hands how many of you giggled knowing that rarely happens? Sigh, us too! Even with professional shoots booked with me I always ask parents what their expectations are for their shoots and then to tell me about their child(ren). If you want more posed shots but have an extra active child try to take many fun breaks to do other things. Don't force it. Even try involving your child by asking what kind of photo they would like to take. Most times I find after these sessions that I love the "between the poses" moments so much more. Those little goofy grins, the active minds at play, and even the tender looking at mommy or daddy moments. Know that all can work even if it wasn't in your plan to start.
3. Use the burst setting & get low!
Burst mode will become your friend with active or even multiple kids. Try to use natural light when you can and participate as you snap shot after shot while sitting at their level catching the world from their eyes.
4. Don't say cheese
This may even ring out to beginning photography students. When first entering the studying of portraits we are told never say cheese because it tends to invoke a fake smile and stiffness in your subject. While this isn't always true it's better to be unexpected and find something fun and silly to get real smiles. A trick I've learned, gross things always get the little boys rolling with laughter! Find what works for you and your family. It could be a silly face, funny words, or even you behind the lens dancing away.
5. Know when they are done
Again, back to our 'expect the unexpected'. Not always in the game plan but many things could end your photo day fun. Be prepared for a tired and hungry child but also know when they have just had enough. Sometimes waiting a week and trying again is a better option and will keep this a fun time for you to spend with these bundles of love. Like my little guy over here, I secretly LOVE those 'Mommy I AM DONE' faces but know not to push it past that fine red line. Even with some sessions being ended within the first 10-15 minutes I find that I am still able to get great shots and even a comment a few days later about how fun it was to be superman! That's a win for me.
Thank you so much for reading!