Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tips for Getting Your Child Photographed

Have you ever taken your child to have their pictures taken only to find yourself completely exausted after a long frustraiting shoot in which you spent rediculous amounts of time and energry trying to get just a couple decent pictures out of your cranky child? Here's a few tips that may help make your next photo experience just a little easier:

1) Schedule your appointment during a time when your child is normally in a good mood. For most children this is either in the morning or right after nap time. But everyone is different and you know your child better than anyone, so plan accordingly.

2) Make sure your child has been fed. Hungry children are cranky children.

3) Give your child Tylenal 20 minutes before their session. If your child is in pain (teething, growning pains, sinus headache), they won't do as well during their session. Since you can't always know when they are in pain it helps to give them tylenal just in case.

4) Be prepared with snacks. Bribery does help. I usually keep a good stash here at my studio, but if you go someplace else, you're likely to need this tool to coax a smile out of your little one.

5) Bring a favorite toy or "lovie". Your child will be comforted by the familiar object in his unfamiliar surroundings.

6) Don't bring too many clothes. Or really... don't expect your child to willingly change outfits that many times without throwing a fit. Most kids don't like having their clothes changed, so I recommending keeping the outfit changes to a minimum. One or two outfits is usually best. Make sure they're in your favorite outfit first... that way if they do get cranky when you change them, you'll at least have gotten some good pictures in the best outfit first.

7) Don't have high expectations about getting specific poses. Although you may have found some adorable poses of other children posted on the internet, you can't always expect your child to co-operate. The best thing to do is work with the child to find which poses they're comfortable with. If they give you a hard time when you try out a certain pose, don't push it or you'll end up with one very unhappy child which consequently means you probably won't get any good pictures. Flexibility is key when it comes to childrens portraits. And who knows, maybe you'll get a completely new pose that's even better than you'd hoped for.

8) Go professional. Skip any studio where you know you'll be stuck sitting and waiting for your turn. Too much time spent in a waiting room and your child will be cranky before you even start pictures. It's a better idea to schedule your appoitment with a professional studio where you know you'll get started with pictures right away.

I may add to this list later, but for now, this is my list of recommended steps you can take to ensure that you and your child have an enjoyable portrait experience.

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