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Children Session

One of my favorite sessions are my sessions with toddlers and kids. They always give me so much joy and excitement. I cant wait to meet your little one and make memories that you can enjoy for days, months, years down the road! Book an In home session today!


What to Expect

Every session is different because every family, kid, person is different. Everyone brings something unique to their session. But some things remain the same in my children's portrait sessions. These 2 hour sessions are designed to be long enough for your child to warm up to me and their surrounding while being short enough to keep their attention. I aim for kids and parents to walk away enjoying the session. If the kids have fun, their photos will reflect that.

Preparing Children For A Photo Session

Over the years, I have found that most moms are a little worried about how their children will ‘behave’ at the photo session. First, let me put your mind at ease! As a family photographer, I am used to working with children and all the different ways they may react to being photographed. From the ones that want to ham it up, to those who are terribly shy. These are things that make your child who he or she is! But, mom, I know you want to do everything you can to make sure your child is happy and ready come picture time. Over the years of working with families, I have found that there are a few things that are very helpful when preparing children for a photo session.


Full = Happy

It always amazes me just how much children are capable of eating. And just how cranky they become when their bellies are empty. I’ve found the most helpful thing to do when preparing your children for a photo session is making sure they start with a full belly. I would suggest feeding your children a meal or snack before the session as well as bringing along a snack and water for a mid-session break if needed. Helpful Tip: When packing snacks, choose ‘clean’ snacks so that clothes, hands and mouths aren’t stained.


Bring A Comfort Item

Bring a familiar or favorite toy. We may not need it. And I recommend secretly bringing it and leaving it in the car until needed so it isn’t in every picture. But sometimes that is just the comfort a child needs to warm up to having their picture taken. And as a bonus, years from now you will love seeing your child with that special item as you look back at your pictures.


Talk To Your Child About The Session

Talk about me as a friend and not just a photographer to your children. This helps children feel more comfortable interacting with me on our session day. Just like us, children feel more comfortable when they know what to expect out of a new situation. Please take a little time to talk with your children about the upcoming session. Let them know how excited you are about it! And how special and important it is to you. Also, let them know what you expect of them during our time together. A lot of families discuss and pick something fun in advance as a treat after the session if they’re good listeners, like ice cream.


Tell Me All About Your Child

The more I know about your child and his or her favorite things, the easier it is for me to make them feel comfortable, get them to laugh and capture that glowing natural smile. Does your child have a favorite song? I may just sing it in a silly voice or with mixed up lyrics to get a smile. Are they currently obsessed with a certain cartoon character? I’m sure they would love to tell me all about it! Genuine smiles always come out when a child is talking about something they love.


Keep Them Awake On The Ride

I haven’t met too many children who aren’t lulled to sleep by a little car ride. And most parents love it! But on picture day, it is best to try to keep your little ones away. Over the year of photographing families with young children, I noticed that if a child fell asleep on the ride over they usually needed some time to wake up and adjust to their new surrounding. That combined with the fact that they often wanted to sleep a little longer often made for a very unhappy child.


Time to Explore

One way I let kids know it's okay to be shy, that we're here to have fun, and that I'm not going to force them to do anything is by letting them explore. I encourage them to run around, pick flowers, look at different features or wildlife at the location. Not only do they start having a good time, they forget that this new person is there with a camera. They realize I'm not just going to make them sit and smile. Our time together also becomes fun and relaxed so by the time we are done with their session they look forward to the next time they get to see me. Plus, you get a lot of documentary style images of your little one having fun and doing kid things.


Time to Warm Up

If your child is shy when we first begin, that is okay. Even kids I have photographed several times are shy when the session starts. The first few photos are usually a warm up, so there's no pressure to get your kids to smile. I also don't expect them to sit or stand a certain way, especially in the beginning. I like to give them a few minutes to get used to me, my camera, the location and let them know that our primary goal is to have fun.


Natural Smiles

Let’s face it. Most children don’t really know how to smile on command. When asked to smile or say cheese, children will usually give a force, stiff and unnatural toothy grin. My goal is to capture your child’s authentic smile. You know, the one where you can see it in their eyes. My goal is to get them to smile because they are having a good time, because they know that I'm the nice lady with a camera who lets them have fun, and because I may be doing something silly. If we need to create a natural looking smile that is not forced, we wont say "Cheese". This word actually create a strained smile rather than something softer. We will try saying "money" instead or words that end in a "ay" noise like "Sunday"


Plan A Reward

Many families love to plan a little reward to look forward to after the session. There was a period of time where my daughter absolutely refused to have anything to do with taking pictures. As a photographer, you can imagine my horror! That’s when we started offering her a snack if she took pictures. It worked like a charm! My mom calls it bribing my daughter. I preferred to look at it as providing an incentive for following instructions and participating. (Yes, I’m giggling as I write that!). But no matter how you look at it, I know that enticement of her favorite snack has gotten my daughter to happily participate in many photo sessions that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. And now that she is seventeen, there are no bribes needed. She can't seem to get enough of having her picture taken! Happy photographer momma here! One suggestion for those who like to bring candy for motivation during a session: don't hand it over right away. Again, there is plenty of time in a session to get those desired smiles so no need to give away the snack too soon. Plus, if they get a snack early on they may even refuse to cooperate unless they get more. Another suggestion for candy bribes: make sure it's not a messy snack like chocolate or crackers. Also, avoid snacks like lollipops or other candy that take a long time to devour. Those are best as rewards for when you are heading back to your car. If you rather not give a treat, try talking up their photo session beforehand. Get them hyped about getting to see your friend, Jackie, who is going to take some fun photos of them at a cool location. Make it about the time their going to have, rather than the photos you hope to get.

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