Portrait sessions with a professional photographer is a luxury that most do not have the opportunity to experience often, so when you do spend the money to hire someone to take your family’s pictures you want to make the most of that time. I have compiled the following list of ways that you can make sure you are making the most of your portrait time.
1. Pick the time of day that is best for your children – I am a photographer but I am also a mom. The photographer in me wants my clients to pick a time of day that is best for the light but the mom in me knows that, that is not always possible with children. There are things you can do to combat bad lighting but if a child is fussy because they are missing their nap time, had to wake up early or they are hungry, you aren’t going to get good pictures. My son is in the best mood between the hours of 7am and noon. I am lucky because first morning light is not only a good time to photograph but a good time of day for my son. However anytime after nap time he is a lost cause. He is hyper and if he didn’t get a good nap is he moody. If your child is moody in the morning and/or in the evening when the light is nice don’t try to force them into a session during these times.
2. Bring snacks – While I am not condoning “bribing” your child, if you bring snacks for them to look forward to it sometimes helps. Tell them after the photography is done they can have some cheddar bunnies. Also, if your child starts to get fussy and annoyed it is sometimes good to take a snack break so they can return to the shoot refreshed. Trying to push a fussy child rarely works.
3. Know what you want – The photographer is going to come with plenty of ideas but if there is something you specifically want (like something that expresses something specific about your children or family) tell your photographer beforehand. This will give them time to brainstorm backgrounds and poses. The more the photographer knows about you beforehand the better prepared they are going to be come the time of the shoot.