If you are a family that is preparing for either your first family photoshoot with your children that are under the age of 5, or for a photoshoot that includes children under the age of 5, this blog post is for you! I know that you have seen hundreds of family photos on the internet, and is like wow, I want to take pictures like that. Trust me, It’s not as easy as it looks. That may have been their only good shot of the family. Some children are very easy-going, while sometimes, you may get those children that absolutely does not want to take photos, and they will be sure to let you know via whining, and temper tantrums. If you have multiple children under the age 5, you will be lucky to only have one child who gets in that whiny mood.
If you are a family with children under the age 5 that is looking to book a family session, I have some tips to help prepare you for your photoshoot.
1. Book an early shoot. I say this because the weather is always nice in the morning, and you will avoid extreme lighting. The later you wait; the more people you will see arriving at your photoshoot destination as well. In the morning, children get their first boost of energy, and its usually calmer than in the afternoon (where they get that second boost of energy and they just want to play and be active). When children wake-up and eat breakfast, they are ready to get their day started, and it’s easier to transition them in to a photoshoot before they get in to other things.
2. Take treats as a bribe. This can make or break your photoshoot. Taking a treat such as candy, or juice can actually get your children to listen for short periods of time. Sometimes, you may have to give them the treat first as a bribe to cooperate during the photoshoot, or use it as a “you will get your treat after the photoshoot” type of bribe.
3. Be prepared to assist photographer. If you plan on taking photos of the children, be prepared to assist the photographer, especially if you have a toddler. To get the best photos, or to make your toddler feel safe, you will have to be prepared to do things to get the toddlers attention, and to make them laugh. Toddlers usually have a very short attention span, so be prepared to work quickly.
4. Don’t rush. You want the photoshoot to go as naturally as possible, and you do not want the kids to feel rushed. It’s always good to arrive a little early, and ease in to your session so that your children will feel safe. Always try to start with whole group family photos, so that you get that part out of the way (you never know how the rest of the session will go), then you can ease in to the other shots you want (mom and dad, mom and children, dad and children, children, etc.).
5. Have fun. The most important part of your session is to have fun. If your children are giving you a hard time, try not to get frustrated, and make the best of it because when you look back at those photos years from now, you can throw it in their face saying; “this is how you use to act at our photoshoots!”
This photo was taken at an anniversary event I did photography for on October 22, which was the day after my twins were born. When I walked in to the event, I did not know what to expect because I was inquired about the event no more than 3 days before the event. The family was very kind and welcoming. I walked in with my camera ready, and my ISO, shutter speed, and aperture already set to take pictures outdoors. It was 4:30pm, and I was only booked for 1-hour. The moment I got there, the bride and groom were ready to take pictures. They gathered family and friends to take photos so that they may have photos with everyone that attended their event. After the first round of taking posed shots of the family and their guest, I did my round of candid shots. The event was held in their small, yet beautiful backyard, so I was focused on catching guest in action. I was able to capture a lot of beautiful shots of the kids playing, and family and friends interacting with one another. As my time started to come to an end, I gathered everyone for a full group photo (which are always the hardest to capture). There were about 30 people, and I had to reposition them several times in order to capture the perfect group photo.
As a photographer, it is my job to pay attention to lighting, and to choose the perfect places to snap photos. I must be aware of harsh shadowing, and other things that may be of a distraction in the photo. My job is to pose, and bring joy and excitement to families who are standing in front of the camera. A lot of my job consist of me using my personality to fill the event with laughter, while remaining professional in how I work. When I take candid shots, I like to show guest their photos. This makes them feel more comfortable and engaged with me. The headlined photo I took is a photo of a family taking a selfie. I happened to capture it on camera, and when I showed them the photo, we all laughed at the expressions they were making while taking the photo.