Welcome home little man. Here is your family. Here is your home. You are loved beyond your wildest dreams. You have two big sisters who are ready to to teach you how to use the ipad and maybe one day the car. You have a big brother who is dying to get into trouble with you. And let’s not forget your mom and dad. Oh how they cherish you! I know because I saw it. I saw all fo this. I am so happy that this is where you have been placed. These moments are not ones you will be able to recall, but you will hear all about them. Sweet dreams little man. Sweet dreams.
An in home family session is easier than you think! Find out all the reasons you might want to consider an in home session versus a studio session for your newborn and your family.
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No matter what kind of industry you’re in, it feels great to work with people who trust and belive in you! I have watched this family grow and move through life since our Stroller Strides days. This is not their first session with me. I am proud to say that they happily give me their full confidence. This gives me a little more wiggle room to do what I do best–getting families to play games with each other to ensure great smiles and sweet moments.
For this family we have always chosen locations and activities that would suit the girls. They aren’t known for saying cheese and looking at the camera. Some people are bigger hams than others and that is no big deal. Some moms get lucky and get those kids who are born to pose. I have a niece who would run every time a camera was turned on. Other parents have kids that have trouble with eye contact. The trick is not to make them stay still. EMBRACE THE MOVEMENT!
If you have those kids who won’t look at the camera, readjust your expectations and realize that the best photos are ones that may not include everyone looking and saying cheese. There is no greater memory than those made in childhood, playing with their parents.
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I am that mom. I know I am that mom. I am the mom with the kids in the grocery store that are hanging off the cart, wrestling in the aisle, and poking the eyes on all the fish in the meat department. Yes, I have told them to stop it. Yes, I have told them they will lose their precious screen time. Yes, I am tired of the constant fight.
And I’m supposed to sign up for photography session and have you point a camera at my chaos? Umm..
Kids are unpredictable, babies especially. They are who they are and we the parents are at the mercy of their behavior, especially in public. Yes, we are the ones “in control”. But it feels like such an illusion at times. It doesn’t mean I give up and “let them win.” Heaven forbid! But after seeing hundreds of families and seeing how they deal with the stress with a camera that is supposed to be aimed at them just magnifies everything. Here are some ways parents can do their part that will help everyone walk away smiling.
- Do not bribe them. It only gives them something to whine about. Following directions for an hour can be exhausting to little humans. And for the love of all that is holy, do not give them chocolate or anything that will change the color of their teeth! “Is that chocolate or poop?”
- Distractions work wonders. I am for evidence of connections between family members. This can be done easily with a game–a game with you! Dads are great at throwing little people in the air. Moms are usually great for swings and cuddles. Siblings are perfect for silly secrets.
- Props. These are great but they have to be something you don’t mind being in the pictures. If it is something special to them, like a blanket or lovey, by all means bring it. It’s part of who they are at this stage in their life. Some kids are really good about “hiding” their treasure once it’s time to snap the picture. This works with big humans too. I once had a grandpa who doesn’t take his cowboy hat off for anything. It was just part of him. His family wouldn’t recognize him without it. Kids like to find sticks, rocks, or pick flowers. It only adds to the story.
- Mom and dad can walk away for a few. Sometimes just getting directions from too many people can be overwhelming. Some kids just need a little time and space. You don’t have to go to the car. Just get quiet or remove yourself from the energy happening in front of the camera. This also works when babies don’t want to smile at the camera, because they only want to smile at their most favorite people, mom and dad.
- Take breaks and change locations. It’s okay to run around and let the photographer chase you. I purposely wear shoes that I can run around while shooting. Kids have very little control of the circumstances that are in their lives. Letting them relax is a sure fire way to maintain a positive atmosphere.
- Keep them happy. Forced smiles are not fun, nor do they make for fun memories to put up on your wall. Of course, we must keep the safety of everyone priority number one. But if something is not working, pick them up, comfort them, and move on to something else.
Going with the flow is really part of my style. I know things don’t always go as planned. Be resilient. Be flexible. Be forgiving. Your next session will happen with smiles when everyone comes with the mindset ready for family play time. Book your session!