You know that old saying "never work with children or animals" - I don't believe it! Working with children is the best!! (And so are furbabes!)
These little ones are full of life, full of energy and full of surprises. They definitely keep us on our toes in the best possible way.
However, photo sessions can be daunting for some children. They may have never had one before, the camera may be a little scary and it's totally normal to be shy meeting a new person.
It's our job to support them through these feelings so we can all have an incredibly fun and connected photography experience. Here's how we can do it...
Let's make this super easy in three simple ways!
ON THE DRIVE...
You're in the car on the way to your photography session - yay!
This is the PERFECT opportunity to prepare your little one. Chat to them about where you are going, what you are going to do, that Mikaela is going to be there to take photos and most importantly, remind them to have fun but stay close to mummy and daddy - lots of snuggles, tickles and connection.
Get them involved! Ask what they are looking forward to. "Lily, what is your favourite thing about your new baby brother?"
"How many birds will we see at the reserve today James?"
Your energy and tone in the car will really set the mood - let's be positive, calm and enthusiastic!
AT THE PHOTOGRAPHY SESSION...
This is a special time, to be filled with fun, connection and love... so we try to be very careful about discipline during photo sessions.
I'm a mama so I totally understand how it can be with children running around and how this can make you feel.
We want to avoid any discipline that will make your child feel upset or embarrassed. If you yell at them - especially in public and around me - they are naturally going to retreat or lash out... they are embarrassed, scared, upset - it's natural. But it's really hard to turn those emotions around. Instead, if your little one needs reminding of what we are here for, you will get down on their level, hold their hands so they are looking you in the eye and explain in a gentle, calm voice. Sometimes they may need two minutes to run the crazies out. Or a few moments just being in a new environment if they are feeling really overwhelmed. We will always go at their pace.
If they're running around, they're doing their job as kids! We will play games, have fun and enjoy the time connecting.
IN THE DAYS LEADING UP...
Now this one depends on your child - you know them best so you will know if it is best to not tell them before the getting ready or drive to the photos. For some children it can really help to be prepared in the days leading up. Talk to them about what you are going to do at the photo session...
"Harper, we're going to search for fairies in the long grass at sunset."
"Let's jump the waves at the beach Billy!"
Introduce them to me! New people can be scary so let's make it a little less so by having a virtual introduction. Show them the video here and chat to them about me - let them know I'll be at the grassy field/the beach/ etc. with my camera to take some photos.
If you're visiting the studio, make sure to point it out in the film. New places can be daunting so this will help familiarise them before the day.
Did you know how you feel will directly impact how your child feels?
If you are stressed - your child will feel that.
If you are calm - your child will feel that.
We are aiming for calm, positive and happy mamas and dads
so we also have calm, positive and happy children!
This may mean that whilst you're preparing your children for photographs,
you're also preparing yourself...
- remind yourself often of your WHY. Why are you capturing these moments?
- pack your bags, have your outfits ready, fuel in the car, even prep your breaky or dinner the day before your photos. This will mean no rushing on the day of your photo session.
- Make sure you give yourself more time than you think you'll need on the day of your photo session. You don't want to get stressed by the clock!