Getting Kids to Cooperate During a Photo Session Part 1: 5 Tricks to get your children to cooperate for taking photos.
“My kids can’t sit still for 2 seconds,” you say to yourself, “how in the world is this photographer going to get them to be still?”
There are many different tips and tricks to prepping your child for and how to treat your child durning a photo session.
Trick Number 1: Bribery. If you are above bribery as a parent, that is fine, just think of it as incentivising (not sure if that is a made-up word) your children. We know that even if your child is terrible for a session, that you will probably get them ice cream or said treat afterwords, but they don’t know that. I once had a client bribe their child with spinach and raisins and the child did exactly what I wanted. Hey, whatever works.
Trick Number 2: Don’t say cheese. This isn’t necessarily a trick, just more of a guideline. The kids get really squinty eyes and scrunched faces when they say things like cheese, so simply let the photographer get their attention and snap away. Children are naturally pretty happy, and it often comes out in their eyes, and not necessarily their smiles. Take the photo, below…no one was cheesing at all and what you end up with is a nice natural look and different personalities.
Trick Number 3: Take Breaks. Let the kids be kids and do kid things. No, you don’t want them to mess up their outfits that you spent all time color coordinating to match the family, but you also don’t want to end the session early because you have either bored, angry, or crazy kiddos. You get a much more natural and candid look from children when they are doing what they do best…playing.
Tip Number 4: Just Ask. Sometimes simply asking a kid to do something, they will gladly do it. If they aren’t interested then try the old reverse psychology and if none of that works then MOVE ON. I simply asked the boys to kiss their sister on multiple occasions. She loved it and the boys were more than willing to comply.
Tip Number 5 (Final Tip): HAVE FUN. If your children are having fun, then you will be having fun and the photos will turn out great. The two images of the boys on the swing tell a great story about how much fun they are having while dad is in the background pushing them. Their joy is very apparent and nobody asked them to say cheese. Photographing children is no easy task, but it can be made easier by following a few simple guidelines and allowing yourself to have a little fun. Preparing children by telling them what they will be doing for the next hour also helps. Talk up the photographer and make it seem like it will be a fun adventure.