- Get Excited
- Show them a picture of the photographer
- Let them help
- Promise a reward
- Make sure they are fed and rested
Get excited: If you are excited, your children will catch your enthusiasm. Same goes if you are feeling grouchy about having photos taken, kids will then resist a session as well.
Show them a photo/video of your photographer: If you have young children this is especially important. I am a stranger to them. How many times have you trained them not to talk to strangers and then I come and need them to trust me. Showing them a photo of me and telling your 3-6year old child about me will help reduce tension or fear that your child might feel about meeting “a stranger”.
Let them help: Getting your child involved as you prep for your session brings them a sense of ownership. This might be as simple as having two options (such as; shirts, hair bows, shoes, you get the point) that YOU like and then letting your child pick which one of those two that they want to wear. But remember, if you give them a choice, you must follow thru with the choice they picked.
Promise a reward: Some call this bribery, I choose to say, I reward my children for the work they put into having good attitudes about the session. Let them know ahead of time of their reward. Once, when I did an in-home session with my children, I promise mini marshmallows. I gave out a marshmallows every time I switched things up or if they started to get tired of listening. It was amazing what a little taste of sugar did to keep the smiles on their little squishy faces. I once had parents who gave lollipops at the end of their session. I quick snapped some photos of that joyful time.
A reward definitely helps your children leave a session with happy memories. They will feel like they were able to accomplish the task that you asked of them without the tears and threats. Please, don’t skip this step with your kids! Lets make your session a happy memory.
Make Sure they are Fed and Well Rested: This might seem obvious, but it’s still worth noting. A quick snack before you change them into their photo clothes just might do wonders for your session. Avoid scheduling a session at nap time. And make sure they are well hydrated. Thirsty, hungry, tired… even we adults get grouchy! So pack a bag with water bottles and snacks just in case you see your child on the verge of a meltdown.