Seeing the world through the eyes of a child has been described as simply "magical." Everything is new and exciting and as winter finally gives way to spring, even a pandemic can't keep our kiddos from running outside and exploring the world again.
Whether you have the nicest digital camera that money can buy or just rocking your Cell phone camera, taking pictures of your kids as they experience life is more popular than ever! After spending years of teaching and working with kids, we've learned quite a few little "tips and tricks" that work for professional family photos AND simply snapping some quick pics of your kids in the backyard! Feel free to use a few (or more) of these tips as you capture your child's adventures in the world!
1. Feed your children in advance
No one wants to be “hangry” while having to smile for pictures. If you know that you want to spend more than 5-10 minutes taking photos of your child (especially for holiday pictures like Easter or Mother's Day), make sure that their tummies are full first! A couple of quick bites can save you from wasting time saying "Smile!" over and over again.
2. Offer small "treats" as rewards
The “If you can take 10 more pictures with Daddy and Mommy, you’ll get a little treat!” trick has worked wonders for us in the past! We always encourage our families that "Bribery is completely acceptable" when trying to snag "happy pictures," especially with a child who tends to be a little "camera-shy." We've seen quite a few different kinds of candy offered up over the years and each one ends with the exact same result: a smile...a still child for the photo...and then the devouring of the "deliciousness!"
3. Use a favorite toy
We always incorporate breaks for our younger clients throughout our family sessions so they don’t have to be posing or smiling the entire time! Distractions like toys are a huge help during these breaks and they can also be used when you are snapping quick photos around your house or backyard. We all know kids are happiest when they are playing, so why not capture that magic instead of making them look at a camera over and over again!
4. Communicate with your children
We have always been firm believers that "Preparing in advance is better than surprising with the unexpected" when it comes to kids and photos. If your kiddos are old enough to understand, let them know your expectations of them for your photo session. Even though pictures might be important to you and your spouse, photos probably aren't very high on the interest level of your children. "Setting the expectations" before the session begins (coupled with the next tip) is a powerful combo that has worked wonders with many of our past clients!
5. Have an agreed-upon “reward” afterwards
Let's face it, we all love something to look forward to; and your children are no different. You may view photos as a chance to capture and treasure family memories for years to come; but for your kids, this photo shoot is seriously cutting in to their play time! A trip to get some ice-cream or a special meal could be the very thing to help them get over their lost play time. (Ladies, we've found this actually works with your husband/fiance too! ;)
6. Be ready to be flexible
When all else fails, flexibility is king when taking pictures with kids. You never know what your children are going to do or what mood they are going to be in, but we promise, it will be OK! Don’t stress out if they just woke up from a nap…or filled their diaper during the photos. It’s those moments that we can laugh about and just roll with!
Last but not least... YOU are the one who knows YOUR children the best! Choose what works best for them! If you don’t use all or even any of these ideas, that’s OK! Our goal is simply to encourage and empower our followers to capture their memories the best way they can! Now, go take some photos of your kids; trust us, you will thank us that you saved these precious memories.