6 Tips to Help Prepare Your Child For a Portrait Session
The number one thing that concerns my clients when they book a session with me is their child. Most of the time they aren't exactly sure how their child(ren) will behave, if they will have a complete meltdown before the session actually starts or if the child will downright refuse to have their portraits taken (it happens). Luckily, since I have 3 children of my own and know that the struggle is BEYOND real, and I have a few tips and tricks up my sleeve that just might help at your child's next portrait session.
1. Set expectations....and then lower them, like waaaay down.
Let's be real, kids are going to be kids. They are balls of energy and if you have a toddler, well good luck on getting them to do anything other than what they want to do. So it's very likely that they won't sit still long enough for you to capture that Pinterest inspired pose that you saw. Make sure that you hire a photographer that understands that the child, especially a toddler, is going to run the show. A good photographer will know when something will work and when it's time to move on to the next thing.
2. Make it a big deal. Choose to make it an experience and not a thing.
Photography sessions can often be scary for smaller children and awkward for older children. My advice to overcome this? Make it a big deal. Make it an experience. Show them examples of the photographers work and tell them that they will have portraits captured just like those images. Pretend to a have portrait session at home and have them practice poses. When their session day arrives, make sure to ask your child to show the portrait photographer their favorite pose they practiced. Here at Aria Rose Photography, we offer hair and makeup as an add on. All of our clients that add this to their experience, their child comes to our studio ecstatic just to have their hair and makeup done by a professional. If wardrobe is not offered through your photographer, take your child to pick out something for their session. Don't be afraid to show your excitement as well. If they see you excited about it, then they will be too.
3. Nap, food and potty before the session.
The rule of thumb for any child portrait session is to make sure all naps, meals and potty breaks happen BEFORE the session. Make sure all sessions are booked after nap time. Kids, again this is especially true for toddlers, do the best after a nap. If you must schedule a session before nap time, make sure to schedule it at least 2 hours before their usual nap. The closer it gets to their nap time, the more likely you may encounter a meltdown. The same goes for food, no one wants a hangry child on their hand. I also always recommend that all potty breaks happen before the session. You never know if you will be at a location that doesn't have a restroom or a restroom that may be out of order. Most of our child portrait sessions include wardrobe, which means that your child may just fall in love with a dress that doesn't really allow them to use the potty easily. So make sure to have your child potty at least twice before their session.
4. Carry an Hermione Granger bag.
For all my sessions, I carry what I like to call a Hermione Granger bag. For those of you who are not familiar with this Harry Potter reference(and if you aren't, you're breaking my heart), in the last Harry Potter (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows...check it out!), Hermione carried a bag that had EVERYTHING they could possibly need in case things went south. The bag looked small, but she carried items like food, water and even a tent! Now I can't promise I will have a tent in my bag but I do like to carry waters, snacks and prizes in case things go a little south. If your child has a favorite snack or drink, bring a magic bag with you! The key is to not tell them what is in the bag, matter of fact don't even tell them about the bag! When you see your child getting tired or cranky, surprise them with their favorite snack or food! Remember to bring snacks that aren't messy and clear drinks!
5. Leave sick kiddos at home.
We get it! We understand that kids get sick, so if your child is feeling under the weather please keep them at home. No photographer will be upset, after all we have kids too! Just let us know as soon as you know you won't be able to make it. Chances are, if you bring them to the session, they will be cranky and it will show in their portraits. Also, your photographer would not like to get sick or bring home any germs to their family. If we get sick that means we can't photograph sessions for our other clients. So please, if your child is sick, reschedule your session.
6. Relax and enjoy the experience
Trust your photographer! They will know when they can save a session and when it's time to bring in the big dogs. Try to enjoy this experience, you only get portraits done every so often so enjoy it!
Want to add a tip? Have a question? Leave a comment below!!
Shemika Schatte of Aria Rose Photography is a Dallas-Fort Worth Portrait Photographer. Aria Rose Photography is located in Burleson, Texas. At Aria Rose Photography, you will find fine art maternity, motherhood and child portraits. Aria Rose Photography serves Dallas, Fort Worth, Mansfield, Keller and the surrounding areas.
Aria Rose Photography works with clients in all of Central Texas. Shemika is also available for travel.
Please inquire for travel rates if you live outside of the Dallas-Fort Worth area.