Holiday Photo Time! No Need to Stress
For some parents, the thought of taking the children to take the holiday photo elicits an immediate pain in the frontal lobe, discomfort in the stomach, and an increase of heartbeats per minute. Preparing for a photo session can be daunting. Finding the photographer and location that will fit your needs, choosing a date and time, and deciding on what to wear, are just a few of the decisions that need to be made. Then the real fun begins, making sure the planets align, allowing you to get that unbelievable photo, that will grace the cover of countless holiday cards. Well, it doesn’t have to be as difficult as aligning the planets. Here are a few tips to help make your next session a little less stressful.
Tip #1 - Timing
On the day your child was born, you no longer called the shots. This sweet little baby was now in charge. It’s safe to say that for the next 5 to 6 years (some would say even longer), you are no longer in charge of the daily schedule. Working around meals, snack time and naps, is the main priority, especially when trying to maintain a sense of harmony in the home. So, why should anything be different when scheduling a photo session? No one knows your child better than you, so be sure to work around their schedule. Don’t schedule a session right before nap time and definitely don’t skip a meal to make an appointment. If your photographer can not accommodate your schedule, then you might have to find another photographer.
Tip #2 - Clothing
Finding something for the kids to wear is usually a pretty simple task. Well before Halloween arrives, the holiday outfits are on display in the stores. Countless, adorable dresses and cute sweaters to choose from. The hardest thing to do here is come home with only one choice. Dressing ourselves is usually when it gets to be difficult. The best suggestion I can give you, is keep it simple. Solid colors are the best. Avoid too many different patterns and clothing with words written on them. This takes away from the main focus, you and your family!
Another great tip is to bring an extra outfit. The likely hood of you needing it, is rare. However, it’s when we don’t prepare for the unexpected, is when the unexpected happens. This is definitely helpful when shooting on-location.
Tip #3 - Location
You might be thinking that this step should be decided well before the session date, and I couldn’t agree with you more. However, when mentioning location in this step, I’m actually referring to the location of you, the parent. If you are only having pictures taken of your child(ren), then the best place for you is right behind the photographer and preferably at the height of the camera. Most photographers welcome help from parents when trying to gain eye contact with the child. Though, it becomes a problem when those calls for “look here”, “smile for the camera” and countless sound effects come from areas not even close to the camera’s direction. If you will be in the picture with your family, then let the photographer work, his or her magic. Your only job is to look at the camera and smile.
Tip #4 - Your Opinion Should Matter
I am well aware that a client hires a photographer for their talent and their expertise. I do believe that a photographer should have a good idea of how the photo session will go, well before the first picture is taken. What backgrounds will be used? Will there be props? I also believe that the client should be able to share their opinion on what they would like to have in their pictures.
There may be times where you depend solely on the creativity of your photographer. However, you should also be able to freely express your opinions when needed. You should feel comfortable in sharing your own ideas and expectations for the session. Your photographer should welcome this information wholeheartedly.
Tip #5 - Relax and Have Fun
Take a deep breath, do some jumping jacks if need be, but whatever you do, don’t lose your cool. Time and time again, parents become so flustered by their children’s behavior, it become impossible to capture genuine happiness. It’s essential that you remain calm. Children can easily sense their parents displeasure. Once this happens, watery eyes and red noses will be the main focus in all the pictures.
Have faith in your photographer. We are well trained in the art of turning unhappy children into camera loving individuals. As long as the parents relax and have fun the kids are sure to follow.
Sharon Gaietto, CPP