I was talking to someone a little while ago about risk. The “risk” you take when booking a photo session; what you have to gain and what you have to lose. I think a lot of people are fearful to book a photography session in case their children are uncooperative on the day and it’s some kind of total disaster. Well Imma ‘bout to drop a truth bomb on you here… spoiler alert: ALL KIDS “MISBEHAVE” AT THEIR PHOTO SESSION! It’s not in their nature to want to sit still and follow commands for an hour but let me tell you, THEY DON’T HAVE TO! That’s the beauty of lifestyle photography. It’s relaxed, it’s natural expressions, it’s unforced and it’s actually YOU…. Just as you are, just perfectly imperfect. And that’s ok. It is ok for kids to not be interested in having photos done. It is ok for them to lose the plot and start acting “crazy”. It is ok for them to not listen to you. IT. IS. OK. And it is normal. You need to let go of perfection and just chill. You also need to be able to hand over control to your photographer. I know a lot of people have control issues cough me cough, but you need to place your trust in your photographer that they know how to elicit the reactions that you want to see in your family. That is exactly why you hire a professional! It’s actually our job to work with kids in a way that enables them to enjoy themselves. To be able to have strategies in place that calm them when needed and failing all of that, to be able to move really quickly to get the shots when things turn upside down.
I know I’ve come out of sessions before knowing one of the parents (usually mum) are worried because they thought the kids didn’t “do well”. I know that later, once they saw their photos they were amazed! Your perception of how well your kids “behaved” during the session does not equate to the end result.
I do understand that having a photo session is always a challenge with children and you have to take out a financial risk that they won’t “behave” on the day. As an experienced photographer I have many tricks to help the session flow more naturally with young children. Of course in the worst case scenario, if your children were “terrible” (there is no such thing) on the day, the only outlay you would have is the initial session fee and an hour of your time. You’ve really got so little to lose and so much to gain by just jumping into it and placing your trust into a photographer that they may come out the other side with something pretty special for you.