The key to success is patience. When taking photos of young children, and their families, more often than not the best photographs happen when you least expect them. I often find that at the beginning of a photo session that everyone is a little bit nervous and stiff. This is understandable because in most cases everyone has just met. It is worthwhile to spend just a few minutes getting to know one another and develop a rapport with the family. This article was very helpful to me. It lists the many ways that you can make the experience better for both clients and the photographer. The more relaxed that everyone is the better the session will go. When you have a two year old involved in the session expectations must be adjusted.
If you find that one member of the family is struggling, give them a break. Sometimes they just need to catch their breath and have a drink of water or a small snack. I always have an assistant when I am taking photos of young children. The assistant can handle snack and break time. In the meantime I keep shooting. Often I find that I capture my favorite photos from a photo session when I least expect it.
It is critical to be prepared for a photo shoot.
1) Know your photo venue
2) Get to the venue early
3) Have water and a snack.
4) Know the family’s names and a little bit about hobbies
5) Have a couple of props
As a photographer you can never be TOO well prepared. Research and practice is critical and almost always pays big dividends. This article is a great reminder of what a professional photographer must prepare for in the lead-time before a portrait session.
Don’t throw away the outtakes of these types of sessions. Often parents will find the outtakes very special. Many times I love the “failed” photographs just as appealing as the posed and formal photos. I love both classical and documentary photography and try to capture a mix of both in my portrait work. Take a minute to learn about my background. Please contact me to plan your next portrait session. I will be prepared!