Portrait session turns into a bummer!

Everything seemed to be going so well with our morning photo shoot.
Everything seemed to be going so well with our morning photo shoot.

We grabbed a few moments between the rain this week to celebrate Mike and Jeanette’s 40th Anniversary! Definitely a worthwhile reason for family portraits. And, when part of the family that lives a long two-day drive away is visiting, there’s extra motivation.  Even more so when Mike and Jeanette’s two lovely granddaughters are here,  as every moment is a perfect photo op.

The weather was cooperating and we had a number of places in the park to set up for photos. The young girls, at the age of three and four, had obviously been primed for the camera and we’re happy to smile at the right moments. Everything was going smoothly until Mike said, “Can we get one more shot over here in the tall grass?” Of course!

By the time we set up for this last stop, the novelty of looking nice for this guy with the camera was wearing off and the girls needed a little motivation. Now, I’ve had parents stand behind me and wave their arms like helicopters, jump up and down and make the funniest noises, all to get their kids to look up and show some interest. But I’ve never had this one before. It worked perfectly so I turned around to see what the magic was. Nothing. More gales of laughter from the girls. I spun around again to catch their Dad in action … what a bummer!

Happy 40th Anniversary to Mike and Jeanette!
Happy 40th Anniversary to Mike and Jeanette!
A special hug for Papa!
A special hug for Papa!
Grandparents and grandkids: perfect together.
Grandparents and grandkids: perfect together.

Bunks-428

Going fishing'.
Going fishing’.
What are they looking at?
What are they looking at?
And what is making them laugh so hard?
And what is making them laugh so hard?
Ahh! It's Daddy!
Ahhhh! It’s Daddy!

 For Photographers

Ha, ha, well, it’s always a good thing to have parents as part of the team! And whatever works, eh?

But what can you do when you don’t have parents that are this cooperative? There are lots of other ways to attract the attention of young children that are almost as effective. Tried and true methods include favourite or novel toys. And toys that make sounds help too. Parents will usually be able to suggest favourite toys that will help.

Your first consideration is to schedule the shoot when the children are well rested and fed. Secondly, at the beginning of the shoot, take time with the children to build a bit of a bond. Get close to them, down at their level and spend a few minutes talking with them. This is so important for building trust and increasing their comfort level. Besides, kids are interesting! It will also give you ideas for things to talk about during the shoot.

With toddlers, making a game of it like peek-a-boo really helps to hold their attention and gets you away from the “say cheese” look. A challenge also works, such as “Can you jump over this stick?” or, “Can you run to this tree?” Be ready with your camera set on continuous focus to track their movements and you should capture some genuine looks.

 

 

 

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