Here’s the scenario: You’ve been scouring the internet and social media for the past few weeks searching for the *perfect* photographer for your family. After a lot of recommendations, research, and thought, you did it. You pushed the button and have officially booked a family session. You’re so excited to finally be able to have some beautiful images; that you are in; hanging in your home. Then you turn around and see your toddler standing in the middle of the room wearing nothing but a diaper with a crayon up his nose. You announce to the rest your family that the session has been booked and your big kids groan and roll their eyes.
Don’t worry. I’m here to let you know it’s going to be ok. If you’re anything like me, you like to be prepared. So today, I’m going to give you 3 ways to prepare your children for your upcoming family session. I swear, they seem simple but I use these with my own children and they never fail.
1. Don’t Stress.
Of course, this is easier said than done but just breath mama. I am also a mother and believe it or not, my kids don’t usually like doing pictures. I get it. But let me take the stress from you. It’s not yours anymore. Your job is just be excited and have fun. When we are stressed, our kids pick up on it. Even the littlest ones. If they can sense your anxiety, they may start to become anxious themselves. This can’t be a fun experience if Mom is clearly stressing about it, right?! Keep the tone upbeat. I would even recommend telling them that you all are going to be going to the park, beach, wherever the session is going to happen and your wonderful, goofy friend Danielle is going to tag along and take some pictures.
2. Give them permission to be themselves.
This one is huge. It might be the most important advice I can give any of my clients. I am capturing your family’s dynamic and your personalities. Reassure your children that it will be fun, and that they are allowed and encouraged to be themselves. All children are unique and awesome, and I want to get to know who they really are. It may seem small and a bit silly but you’d be surprised how much pressure this can relieve for them.
3. Include them.
This may sound odd, but include them. Let them know that this is not something they are doing for you, but something you are all doing together, for each other. Let them help pick out the outfits or accessories. Ask their opinions on the location choice. Let them ask questions, show them my website. See what pictures are their favorites. Children of all ages love to be included and help. This is a subtle way to get them invested and excited for the day.
I hope that these tips will be helpful for you. I am just as excited about these sessions as you are and I can’t wait to meet your family.