My goal for every photo shoot is that the kids are as relaxed as possible. If they are relaxed, then they are themselves, and I am able to capture them most genuinely. Before we start, I’ll welcome you and just take a few minutes to get to know your family. When the kids see me chatting with their Mom or Dad first, it puts them at ease. I have found that especially for younger kids, they trust me more after they see their parents chit chatting with me for a little while. During this time, kids often excitedly add to the conversation (which is usually about them, haha!) or they just take a few minutes to quietly settle into the environment and observe.
Photos are taken in front of a paper backdrop, and I shoot with strobes. As we get started, I’ll explain what my equipment is, and show the kids what it looks like when the flash goes off, so they aren’t surprised by anything.
Kids love to sing and dance so I always play music (usually KidzBop!). Then while I am shooting, I’ll ask them all sorts of questions: their favorite color, what they are dressing as for Halloween, what they want to be when they grow up, what their favorite food is, etc. And then I show that I am very interested in their answers. Everyone loves to be seen and understood, and that is especially true for kids! I love to show them that what they have to say is important. Because it is!
I will give them some direction and guide them into different poses, but I am always surprised at how even the littlest kids just naturally put themselves into the most adorable and flattering positions. I will pay close attention to their mannerisms and expressions as they talk to me, and capture them just as they are. I always say that kids just can’t help but be themselves in front of the camera. They have very few inhibitions, and I just really love working with them!
Behind the scenes photos captured by the Mama of this super fun little girl: