Educate your clients
The house doesn’t need to be spotless to create amazing images. Suggest areas that may have good lighting, such as a window seat or a play room with a large window. Make sure to reassure them that you can clean as you go if needed. Send them suggestions like a mood board or Pinterest board to help them get a better idea of the types of photos they may want and give them ideas for good spots in their home. I let me clients know that while I will be giving a little direction, mostly I encourage them to feel the moment, and be natural.
Prompt them, and encourage them
Especially when working with toddlers, prompts are key. Kids love when you connect with them, on their level. Bend down and ask them to choose their favorite toy and snap some photos of them digging through the toy chest. Or one of mom holding Little Tim’s hand as they walk up the stairs. Tell them to give dad a big hug or have dad bring out the tickle monster! Snap all the smiles and giggles!
These days, everyone has a camera. It’s a natural reaction…When kids see a camera, they immediately put on this HUGE, toothy grin and say, “CHEEEEEESE!” but today, this isn’t what we’re looking for. Don’t be afraid to step back and just let Ellie read to her mom or throw dad a tea party. Make sure that your clients are aware that the goal of the session is to capture authentic, real moments, rather than poses.
Kids don’t stay kids, so snap away at the tiny toes, little shoes, busy hands and bright eyes. Little things like books in the nursery or pillow forts are things they’ll want to remember for years to come. Embrace the little things.