Tips for a Calm Photoshoot with Kids
Picture this. You book yourself a photographer to take family photos or a newborn session for the latest addition and you’re so excited. You’ve been planning this out for months! The perfect clothing at the perfect location with the perfect photographer. Then it happens…your child has an epic meltdown and will have NONE of it! Let’s be honest, we’ve all been there! That’s why I’m going to share some tips for a calm photoshoot with kids.
Tips for a Calm Photoshoot with Kids #1
Take a deep breath. you’re wondering how this falls under the category of tips for a calm photoshoot with kids? I know how stressful it can be planning it all out and hoping the portraits turn out as gloriously in reality as you’ve dreamed them up to be, trust me I do the same when we have my family portraits done. Kids are smart. They sense tension and anxiety. When you’re tense and stressed out and last minute panic yelling (no shame, who hasn’t been there!) your kids will start having melt downs of their own.
Do what you have to do to get yourself in a zen state of mind. Because there will be things that come up that might have you freaking out, but if you start off in a calm state of mind it’s all much easier to handle. So lock yourself in a private room 20 minutes before you need to leave to your session and do some deep breathing. Breathe in, hold it for 5 seconds, breathe out for 5 seconds and repeat.
Now the next part is key. At ANY point during the session when something happens that might trigger you into stress mode move to the side, close your eyes and take a few breaths. It will make the world of a difference to everyone! it’ the literally number one when we talk about tips for a calm photoshoot with kids. So if your partner is being grumpy (classic) or your children are curled up in a ball refusing to interact (another classic) you will be able to infuse the situation with some calmness and help everyone respond accordingly.
Tips for a Calm Photoshoot with Kids #2
Bribery! Yes, I know, you’d think this was an outdated notion, but honestly it’s the greatest trick in the bag. The key is to plan out your bribe in advance. Have a talk with your kids and figure out what will make it worthwhile for them to go along with the session. For some it might be going for Slurpee’s or ice cream after the session, others it might be a new Lego set or books. You know your children best and what will work for them.
Here’s the important part with bribery. Don’t threaten to take it away, because that will backfire almost 99% of the time. No one likes to feel threatened, most definitely not children! Just remind them every so often (as you see fit) during the shoot, how excited you are to be able to take them for ice cream or to the Lego store or whatever. This form of gentle reminders is way more encouraging where as threats is discouraging.
Tips for a Calm Photoshoot with Kids #3
Talk with them about the photoshoot. Tell them how excited you are and how you can’t wait for updated family portraits. Portraits that you will be able to enjoy and look at and pour over in an album as you sit on the couch together. GET THEM EXCITED TOO!!
Involve them in the planning as much as you can, in whatever way that means to you. Take them shopping with you to pick out their outfit (make sure they feel comfortable in it, another sneaky little tip!) or have them sit with you when you shop online. Let them feel a part of the process and they will get invested and more on board. This tips for a calm photoshoot with kids, might not seem obvious but it’s definitely an important one.
Tips for a calm photoshoot with Kids #4
Ok, this is my final tip for a calm photoshoot with kids. I might have to do a part 2 because I feel like there is so many good ideas to share.
This tip is a big one! Find a photographer that is chilled. A photographer that will not pressure you or your little ones to behave a certain way. Obviously if you’re doing outdoor photos you have more flexibility on the type of session. It can be more free running around vs indoor studio shoot with a brand new baby. Even still, if your child is having a meltdown in the studio and your photographer is frustrated at them, it’s not going to go well. Find someone with experience with kiddos (ahem, ahem, not to toot my own horn…) and has patience to deal with whatever mood they might bring to the studio.
Let me know if you agree with my tips for a calm photoshoot with kids and if you find that any of them work for you! As always if you’re looking for a photographer in the DMV send me an email and we’ll get you on the calendar!