I adore photographing children. I may be bitten by 32 mosquitos in 10 minutes or covered in leaves & dirt by the end but photo sessions with families are TOTALLY my jam. There is something so innocent and playful about photographing kiddos. That sweet childhood spirit deserves to be documented.
I ask parents not to correct little ones during our time together-I want them to feel 100% free to be themselves. Demands like, “Sit up straight and smile!” steal that genuine smile away. It's all in our approach and preparation. It is VERY possible to capture gorgeous images of a child that doesn't enjoy being photographed. The more of a relaxed approach, and increased encouragement we offer, the better expressions we’ll capture for your images! Tell your kiddos that they're "Going to meet Jessica and that she's going to be SO MUCH fun! She told me she wants to play games with you and take your picture!" Note what games they assume we'll be playing and send me a text, give me a call or send me an email and clue me in! :) Prep them days in advance for a playdate with someone that is just dying to meet them-it's true!!!
Resist the urge to strong-arm them with ice cream or a treat after the session. “If you’re good & smile, we can get ice cream later!” essentially suggests, “This experience is going to be scarring but if you hang in there, I’ll give you a reward!” I aim that the experience itself be fun and uplifting for the child.
I avoid candy as a bribe during a session as it rarely yields real, genuinely happy smiles. Chewing doesn't offer a great facial expression & when the treats run out, there are usually tears. Bribes won't offer authentic, "you can see it in their eyes" kind of smiles or joyful expressions, which is what I emphasize while creating a timeless visual legacy for your family.
I let the preschoolers take the lead in establishing session flow. If their demeanor is outgoing & energetic from the get go, we’ll go for it with fun activities & games to create great candid pictures. If they’re feeling shy and introverted, we’ll take things slow & gentle to start out until they feel comfortable. If they advise they’ve had enough, we’ll stop immediately, or at least transition to a new location & activity.
Wardrobe is a KEY component to consider while planning for your family photo shoot. Choose a palette of 2-3 colors and add splashes of detail with accessories like scarves, jewelry, belts and even hats. Avoid having the entire family wearing only the same two colors. - coordinated outfits work well but only when you're not exactly matching. I am happy to provide feedback and resources to ensure your family looks their best!