I know what it is like. I have been there. I still go there sometimes. I get an idea in my head – and I am ready to roll with it. I have the outfits ready, the location, the light is the most Beautiful golden light you have EVER seen! I am telling you my plans are BIG! It is time for a photoshoot! This mama is ready! But are the kiddos ready-well pffft…do they want Santa Clause to come this year ??? 😉
I pull out the camera…the kiddos see me and they quickly disperse. I hear a few sighs on their way out the door. I yell before they can completely shut me out “I WILL GIVE YOU CANDY!!!”
Nope not working….still whining. What is going wrong? I put the camera down because at this point having to deal with their not so happy demeanor seems just too defeating.
Have you been there? I totally have!
But wait a minute…It doesn’t have to be that way! That is the GOOD news.
Sessions with your kids don’t have to be painful. Really they can be super fun! How is this you ask?
Hang on. Here are my four simple steps to capturing the Joy of Childhood in a carefree way.
No, you don’t have to go off to some far off place and frankly right now most of us are sticking to the places we know for now. Also, I would caution you to find places that don’t require a lot of sitting and waiting in the car because interest can be quickly lost- also depending on the age of your child. It is really all in how you propose this “adventure”. Offer them to go on a treasure hunt. My girls love picking flowers for me, finding little “wishes” in our yard. I love photos of them blowing those wishes. They can be so darn cute! Encourage your babes to run and play and use their imaginations! I love action shots of my kids. They LOVE being active. These images speak to my mama heart because I know I am capturing them in an element they truly love.
Giving kids choices empowers them and builds confidence. This makes them happy!
You will be more likely to get genuine authentic emotions if your kids feel like they took part in your vision. For example, pick out two sets of outfits and ask them to pick which set they like best. You already know you like both choices (they have met your “vision” for the shoot) so what they pick should not matter to you. What matters is that they had a choice and ultimately will be happier. Speaking of vision- you may have to let go of it sometimes or accept a looser version of it. Honestly, most of the time when I do this I am pleasantly surprised with the results. WIN, WIN!!! Am I right?
Okay I am the first to admit I am a type A personality! I really have to refrain from totally trying to control the situation.
It can be as simple as putting your kiddos in some pretty light with an activity they enjoy. Then step away and let them have at it! Sometimes I will engage in conversation that encourages them to engage with each other. Mostly its corny jokes are a retelling of a fun time we had. Sometimes it is a game like “red light/ green light” But whatever it is that captures your child’s interests, use it to your advantage! This is when the magic happens- this is when the laughter erupts. Their unique personalities emerge and the story unfolds naturally.
My kids will yell with glee for a dum-dum, (I carry a bag with me almost everywhere I go-I admit it!). Your rewards don’t need to be extravagant. Praise is often all it takes. Let them know what a great job they are doing and how happy you are that they went out on this adventure with you. Most of the time our kids want to make us happy and if they see that they will be happy too and even more inclined to oblige. It really is that simple.
Lastly, I want to have myself and my children look back at these images with memories of joy. A time we spent together that brought us closer. Nothing makes me happier to see their wide eyed smiles when they look back at our photographs. I know we will cherish these images in years to come. Not because they were forced and “look perfect” but because we did them together and every bit of the imperfect is what truly makes us happy. Trust Me!
I know that you can capture beautiful images of your children. I have all the faith in you! I know that you can do this without feeling overwhelmed or stressed out. Now go make your magic, you’ve got this!
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