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5 tips for a Kid-Friendly Photo Session
It was supposed to be fun
You planned a great day for your family photo session. You’ve picked the cutest coordinating outfits, the weather is beautiful, everyone is in a good mood. You get to the location and you are the only family there. The photographer meets everyone and starts the session.
It is going great…until about 20 minutes into the session. The kids start getting antsy, the easy smiles are turning into frowns and the kids need a break.
Avoiding the Meltdown
How do you avoid a meltdown before your session is over? As a photographer, I prepare for situations like this to keep everyone happy for enough time until it is time to go home. As a mom, though (at least for me), I like to know what I can do to help keep the session light and fun.
Before the Session:
- Let them choose one item of clothing to wear, or let them choose the colors for the family to coordinate (within reason, of course!)
- Practice what you may be doing at the shoot - posing with hands on the hips, practicing big smiles and little ones, with teeth, just lips, you get the idea!)
During the Session:
- Ask the photographer if s/he will allow them to bring a favorite toy or lovey. This would be a wonderful way to personalize your photos. I encourage this for my clients, especially if they have little ones ages 1-3 who get anxious when meeting new people
- Smile and act like you are having fun. Your children will see you enjoying yourself and will want to join in.
- Pack some photo friendly snacks! There are a lot of snacks out there that are great for travel, but most of them include things that you may not want in your photos – imagine smeared peanut butter on that perfectly white shirt – ugh.
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I went to the snow this past weekend for the first time in about 25 years. I'd forgotten how beautiful and magical it looks, especially in its pristine state. There were points along the road when I was tempted to pull over so I could take some pictures! It took about an hour and a half to get to the location where the Winter Wonderland Model Snowshoot was taking place. On the way, I noticed the gradual appearance of snow. Before long, snow flocked the evergreen trees and it started to look like a beautiful Narnian winter, minus the lamppost and talking animals!
I met my group in the parking lot. The woman in charge had the models dressed in fairytale dresses and beautiful headpieces; everything they wore added to the fairytale theme of the session.
One thing that you should know about shooting in such white conditions is that your camera will most likely overcompensate for brightness its sensors are seeing. You need to set your camera to shoot with a slower shutter speed than your camera is telling you, otherwise your photos will come out underexposed. Case in point, I used my 28-300 mm Nikon lens and added a few stops to my exposure. Any less and the snow pictures would have looked grey. I also set my camera's white balance to shade, so the pictures came out warmer; The automatic setting adds a bluish tinge to pictures taken in the snow, and I don't like that.
Below are some photos that I took during the short day. I think the models may have been glad it wasn't longer than that. They braved the cold temperatures for a couple hours, which is so much longer than I would have been able to do.