Photography is a Love Affair with Life
Updated: Oct 24, 2018
Admit it, taking pictures of our own children is difficult, awkward and sometimes annoying #youcantmakemedoit. I used to want to pull my hair out taking pictures of my own girls. When I started portfolio building, I used to practice often on them. What a nightmare that was! Kids rarely listen to their own parents, least of all mine, and they were sick of me taking so many pictures of them. #omgmomstop #momputyourcameraaway #notagain Each time they would see the camera come out, they would moan and groan. Over the years however, I have gained some valuable tricks that almost always work, even on the toughest kiddos.
First tip, bring candy! #candywinshearts Not just any candy. You don't want candy that will leave kids sticky, or with chocolatey smiles. I ALWAYS try to keep Smarties(tm) #Smarties in my bag. Most children love these dissolvable candies that don't leave a messy face behind. #nochocolatemouths Keeping Smarties in my pocket while shooting has become one of my most valuable tools with kids. I will usually ask the kids if they think they gave me a 'one Smartie smile' or a 'two Smartie smile'. #letmeseeyourSmartiesmile They typically answer two. #twosmartiesmile Duh. You can dole out these yummy treats one or two at a time throughout your session to keep kiddos happy and attentive.
Second, I keep a variety of lollipops in my bag. At some point during the session, I ask the children what their favorite color is. Then I mention that I just might have that color lollipop in my candy bag. #whatsyourfavoritecolor #kidslovelollipops If they keep up the good work just a little longer, they get their choice of lollipops at the end of the session. Definitely not until the end though because this WILL result in a sticky mess.
Many kiddos know me as the candy lady. #candylady I even have kids ask me where is my candy as soon as they see me. Bribery is a beautiful thing. #briberyworkseverytime
Next tip, keep baby wipes and an extra bottle of water or two in your bag. These come in so handy with kids. They fall down and scuff their knee. Baby wipes can solve all those woes. Water is great to have on hand, especially if you are shooting outdoors. #justincase #quickcleanup
In order to try to get kids in their most natural state, I will chat with kids while shooting. I like to quickly learn about them and try to find things that make them happy. It's easy to build upon this to get their natural smiles. I like to also tell a silly joke or two. #askquestions #telljokes If all of those tricks fail, tell them to laugh. #laugh They'll think you're nuts, but who cares. If nothing else is working, tickle them. #tickles I love becoming a tickle monster during sessions. #ticklemonster You can also ask a parent or sibling to do it for you. Makes for fun shots!
Finally, do not be afraid to let them be silly. #besilly This is important for them to be comfortable with you. If you are snapping at them to smile pretty or say cheese, you'll get the cheesy smiles for sure. #dontsaycheese Let them be natural and have fun. You'll be happy you did in the long run. #enjoyeverymoment
Working around children and their needs is so important. It is not often that you have to get them looking their best, you want to get their most natural smiles too. I cannot stand the forced smile where you can almost see someone talking through their teeth. #cheesysmile You have digital, take advantage of it. OVERSHOOT. #overshoot #youcandelete If you do that, you're likely to find the perfect shot you were looking for.
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