One of the biggest questions I get is "Do you have any good tips for us with little ones?" The answer is YES! I have many great suggestions on how to prepare for this day. First of all, you should know that this will be a fulfilled, hour long session. I want you to have a fun, stress free, carefree, comfortable time with me because that is what is going to make our session successful! So, with that said, let's get started!
1. To be or not to be....prepared.
What I mean when I say, is that this tip could go a couple different ways... #1. Get your things together no later than a week prior to your session. I'm not kidding, before you know it, your session date will be tomorrow and you haven't had time to search for outfits or get haircuts or nails and hair done or eyebrows waxed and all the kids outfits and backpack of goodies and now you're are 100% stressed out! OR, at least it could go this way... It can also go this way #2. "I haven't done a thing and ya know what, that's ok, becasue this is us and it is going to be great. All that pampering is over rated !" You probably have killer outfits just sitting in your closets and nails smails. Throw on a clear coat and call it good. Outfits, I have dresses and dress tops for the women and some dress tops for the kids. Sorry, dads. I have a very limited wardrobe for you. I have a white polo in a few different sizes. White goes with everything especially with the nice white and bright studio I provide for indoor sessions. Check out my closet at this link to view my WOMENS CLOSET. The point is not to stress out about it if you can't get a second in your busy, wild life to get all this ready. Let's be real, the percentage of being THAT organized and not busy is pretty low! I get it! We all get it! It's fine. It will ALL BE FINE... haha Give yourself a break!
2. Practice at home.
Does this sounds silly? Maybe...maybe not. Talk me up to your children and tell them I am so silly and that I might sing songs and do funny things like fall down and say "TOOT!". Show them my pictures on my website. However, I'll most likely have my hair up. Maybe this photo will help? Just look at me, I look like a nice lady, right?!!! I am! Super silly too!
Pretend that you're at my session and play around with each other and make it fun for them and get them pumped up. I have prizes and not just silly old stuff either. I have small toys, stickers, princess and super hero figures to name a few. I do not mess around. So don't forget to mention that!
3. Do or do not set expectations.
Because let's face it. Do things ever go as planned? Not usually, so let's wing it. Remember all those times we spontaneously met up with friends and it ended up being the best day or night ever?!?! Let's do that! Let's go in with no expectations also because toddlers and children in general are very unpredictable. I'm here to tell you NOT to worry about your child(ren) that keep running off or that starts declining right in front of our eyes. LOL, It's all part of the deal. It's my job to distract, redirect and get the job done. Sometimes, it's a faster session than others but mark my words, you will leave with at least 10 amazing photos to choose from! We will get right to work as to not waste a moment. Maybe have a little pep talk before you leave and remind them that I have amazing prizes!!!
As you know kids can be very adventurous and will fall and get dirty. Your first reaction is to get wildly upset but I'm here to tell you, it's ok! A little dirt will add character to your photos and sometimes if the mess is small enough, I can photo edit that out. I'd rather spend a few extra moments editing "mistakes" out than getting overly upset about it during our session. Later, you'll say "Oh remember that Tommy, he sure was active and exuberant that day?! And then you'll laugh and sigh and say "I'm glad we have these candid photos of our family. Rachael really captured the essence of our family!"
Just look at this photo of little "Tommy". You look right past the "Ooops". Also, guess what? This family used this picture on their holiday greeting card this year because they loved it that much more!
If you you're looking for more "clean looking" photos, then by all means, set those expectations before you get to our session and throughout as you wish. This is your session and I want what you want!
4. Arrive early.
If we are meeting at an outdoor location, arrive about 10-15 minutes early and if you can and walk around and get the feel of the land. Get them used to the surroundings and then give them that 5 minute warning that we are now going to our session and let's go meet this super fun lady, Rachael! I think this helps them a little to get ready and acclimated to this new and different surrounding.
5. Bring snacks or treats and water.
Some folks may call this bribes, but I call it survival! Ha! The little ones need little breaks for snacks This is a pretty big "activity" for some children and they need to reload, reset and start fresh sometimes. Happy Kids, happy parents = Happy Session!
A great idea is buying something NEW! Something they haven't had before. That might help them pull it together for the rest of the shoot or the very least a few more pictures before we need to rest. All you need to do is give a little teaser and say, "let's get a couple more snap shots and then we can have a special treat!" That is usually a winner!
Some good and not so good treats are: - if you must bring a cracker type snack, crackers like pirate booty are ok. Although still flaky and messy, they are not as noticeable like gold fish in the teeth. I am known to be somewhat of a photoshop wizard, but the less I need to do the faster I can get your images in your gallery and off to you!
- no Oreos or anything chocolate, please! They are somewhat of a nightmare in editing. I'm so sorry! Also, candies that are sour, no thanks. Have you ever seen a child drool more??? lol!
- fruit snacks
- clear colored juice boxes or water
- yogurt meltaway (baby section)
- little candies like smarties are a fun one!
6. Finally, let's take a deep breath, relax and have fun!!!
Get involved with your session. When I say "play around a little" or "tickle time", that means get silly and play with your family like you would at home. Capturing those raw lifestyle moments are so much fun to frame or put in albums so you can look back at your special time together. Of course we'll get posed images as well. If goofing around isn't something you usually do, then of course that will feel weird and just tell me that you prefer more posed and curated images. I will do what is best for you and what makes you feel more comfortable!
That's about it. I really hope this post puts you at ease and made you feel comfortable and confident in your next session with me! Above all, let's just have fun and keep an open mind! Be flexible and go with the flow! Those are important ingredients for an amazing session!