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Tips for a Successful Photo Session with Kids

"They don't stay little for long." New parents have all heard the old adage of empty nesters time and time again. But no matter how many times it's been repeated, it's still very true. Capturing your little ones in different stages of childhood is priceless and becomes even more so as you grow older and turn into an empty nester yourself. You will forget the time and effort it took to arrange and execute the photo session, but you'll never forget them as they were at 1, 3, 5, 10 because you'll have the photos to remind you of those years that, in retrospect, did indeed fly by.

Having professional photos made with your kids doesn't have to be stressful and it is so worth it in the end when you have beautiful reminders you can look back on for years and years. Follow these simple tips to make your session more enjoyable for everyone involved...

  • Make sure tummies are full. Bring snacks just in case. This is quite possibly the most important piece of advice because, as much fun as the session could be, your child won't be able to enjoy it if they're hungry!

  • Try to get in a nap if necessary a few hours before but don't push it to the point where you're waking them up as you arrive at the session.

  • Dress casually and comfortably. There's nothing kids resent more than being in clothes they can't run around in. We want them to look cute but we also want them to be happy!

  • Arrive a few minutes early if possible to give them time to warm up to the location and the photographer.

  • Don't stress! Kids can sense when you're desperate and will act (or act out) accordingly. Definitely talk about the session a couple of times before but try not to build it up into a huge deal. Talk about how much fun it will be instead of how much they will have to cooperate and behave.

  • On a related note... We've all experienced it: Your kid comes home from a friend's house and the other parent raves over how sweet and polite your child is. While you're basking in the pride and glory you're secretly wondering if they are in fact talking about YOUR child -- the child that is a wild hooligan at home. We all know kids often act much worse for their parents than for others so you just be prepared to sit back, relax, and let me interact with them during the session. I've found the best way to get those authentic, happy smiles from kids is to connect with them and make them comfortable with the camera, not to direct them. You won't hear me asking them to say "cheese" -- we don't want fake smiles, do we? So try to let go of the reins, let them answer questions and interact with me on their own, and let's have a little fun! I promise you'll get photos you'll treasure of your child's genuine personality and smile.


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