Getting professional photos taken of your kids can be a tricky business. Kids are unpredictable and you never know when they are going to do what they are asked… or if they are! You know the old showbiz saying about animals and kids! If you are having photos taken of your kids, there are some things that you can do to make the session go more smoothly for everyone so that you can be sure of getting good photos of your kids.
Where should we go?
First up, you’re going to need to think about where to do. When looking for a studio, ask around a few people see who they recommend and why. If you’re visiting friends and you like the photos they have, ask who took them. Always research before jumping into a deal or something you find on Google. The cheapest offer won’t necessarily provide you with quality and there can be hidden costs in what seems like a great deal.
You’ll also need to think about the style of photography that you want. Some photographers only work in studios and others prefer to work on location. Be clear about how you want your pictures to look before you book the shoot. Most photographers have website so that you can spend some time getting a feel for their style. It’s important to make sure that you are going to be happy with the look that they create.
Some things that you should find out before booking your sitting:
- Can the photographer relate to children? Are they patient and kind?
- Do they provide any props?
- Are they available at a time that suits you and your family?
- What style of photography do they do? Is it studio or location?
- What is the cost of the sitting? Is there anything included in this cost?
- How much do prints cost? The cost of prints can vary astonishingly and it’s worth asking this question ahead of time.
- Is there a minimum spend?
- Do they provide digital copies of the images? Is there a cost associated with this?
A pre-consultation is a must. You need to see the studio, the set up, and meet the photographers in order to be happy about your choice. After all, they will be taking photos that should last you a lifetime.
During your pre-consultation, make sure your photographer can relate and connect with your children, otherwise that can be money wasted right there.
Getting ready for the shoot
It’s important to plan ahead for your photo shoot. You’re investing your time and money in it and you want to make sure that you get some great shots. Some things that you can do to ensure that you get good photos are:
- Make sure children have had a good sleep and are not too tired from sport / school etc. It’s important to pick a time of day / time of the week where your children are going to be fresh and happy and not tired and grumpy. After school on a Friday is probably not going to be a great time for anyone!
- Get ready ahead of time. This can mean clean and tidy hair, faces washed, clothes ironed… don’t leave it until the last minute or everyone will feel stressed.
- Simple clothes are best. Try and avoid too many colours or distracting patterns. Think about how everyone’s clothes will look together – will colours or patterns clash? You may also like to avoid clothes that will quickly look dated. Try lying the clothes out on a bed so that you can see how everything will look together.
- Consider changes of clothes – you might like to have a couple of different looks during the shoot.
- Get your children excited about the shoot and experience! It should be a fun time for everyone and if your kids are enjoying it, it will be much easier to get great images.
During the shoot
Photographers always appreciate it if parents are able to help encourage their children to smile. You know better than anyone what makes your child happy so don’t be afraid to make some silly faces or noises so that your child will smile. You might also like to consider bringing along some of your child/ren’s favourite toys or things that you know they like.
Are a great way to get kids enthusiastic! We have a bag of lollipops and they seem to go down a treat. If you’re not keen on lollipops, consider taking along something that is a treat food in your family.
Many photographers have props that you can use during the shoot to add interest to the images and also to get your child/ren involved. I have a bubble machine, puppy, superman costume, a trillion tutus, lipstick… you name it- anything to keep the little ones content and full of fun and smiles. Kids and families go to a studio for a fun experience and props are essential. It can pay to ask ahead what props your photographer has available so that you have an idea of what you might be able to use.
Don’t be afraid to bring your own props along as well. If your child has a particularly beloved toy, it can be a great way of providing comfort and also capturing a shot of something that is special to your child at that time. If your child particularly likes dressing up, you could also consider getting a few pictures of them in costume as part of your shoot.
Remember, sometimes it’s harder to get the parents looking relaxed and smiling than it is getting the kids looking great. Make sure that you take some time to relax and enjoy the shoot as well!
Getting professional photos of your kids can be a daunting experience. However, with a bit of preparation and forethought, you can ensure that everyone has a great time and that you have the best possible chance of getting good photos of your kids that will be a lasting treasure.
Originally from Christchurch New Zealand, Sarah moved to Sydney to further her career in the creative arts, primarily Photography. After travels through Europe and Asia, Sarah settled in Sydney, to formally study Photography. After a few years in Sydney, Sarah moved back to run the Jo Frances Photography Auckland business.
Sarah’s unique and individual approach is complemented by her ability to adapt to a diverse range of genres. Her creative mind and open communication skills work wonders when dealing with children and families.