How to Calm the Chaos of Family Photos
The day of your family photo session has arrived. You’ve somehow managed to get all the kids dressed and ready. But inevitably during the process, the kids have become enemies with each other. When you show up for the session, they’re pouting and refuse to go near each other.
Has this ever happened to you before?
As a family photographer, I’ve seen it all. And this scenario is all too common. So how do I still end up with amazing, joy-filled images after every session?
Here are three strategies I employ to get the kids smiling and bring out the true joy in each family:
Connect with the Kids
I understand that every child is unique. There are no one-size-fits-all techniques for turning pouting, screaming kids into happy kids. However, I believe it’s very important for me to connect with each child and make them feel special. I make it a point to get down on their level as soon as I meet them. They need to know that we’re here to have fun. Period. I find that this gets them laughing and giggling almost right away.
Sometimes the kids and I bond so much they feed me their goldfish crackers!
Keep Calm and Shoot On
Family sessions can get craaaaaazy. In fact, I prefer if they do :). Many times, moms especially tend to stress if their kids aren’t behaving. But no matter how crazy the kids are, I remain calm. One mom even told me during a recent session, “Kevin, you have kept so calm today. Seeing how calm you were made me more calm, and put me at ease.” I let my clients know that I will get the shot. Even if the moment only lasts a second, I’ll capture it.
The crazier the better
Put the Parents to Work
I’ve got lots of little tactics for getting kids to laugh and smile. Sometimes, though, the most effective strategy is to get the parents involved. If I’m taking a photo of mom and the kids, I’ll get dad to stand behind me and make faces, or vice versa. Some of my favorites moments with families have come during these times. I’ve seen parents hop back and forth, make ridiculous faces, and even scream “Pickles, pickles, pickles!” This stuff works almost every time, plus it’s very entertaining for me. One of these days, I’ll bring a video camera and record some of it ;).
You better believe that right behind me was a mom making ridiculous faces.
So there you have it. When you trust me to photograph your family, you can rest assured: it’s going to be fun, and we’re going to get amazing images!