Photographing children and capturing their individual personalities is all part of the challenge that makes family photography so rewarding as a Kauai photographer. As you can see from the slide shows, the kids do have fun… as much or more than the parents! While it’s great to get those personalities shining through in full-force in candid and individual shots, it’s also important to try to get a cohesive group shot and that can’t happen without cooperation from the little ones! It can be challenging for them to follow directions if they are tired, hungry, on a sugar-high, stressed, uncomfortable or just plain unmotivated. Luckily, it is pretty easy to plan ahead and prepare them so the sessions run smoothly.
Here are a couple of pointers for families with children getting ready for their Kauai Family Portraits:
Sleep. Get a good night’s rest and or nap before the session. If you know your child crashes early (especially with jet-lag and time differences) morning sessions might be easier for them.
Full Belly. Have the kids eat balanced meals and come to the shoot with a full belly. Often, the session will fall right before dinner time, but don’t wait until after the session to feed the kids.
No Sugar. Avoid sugar-highs before and during the shoot.
Bribes. Kids may not understand why you are taking the photos or how important it is to you, but older toddlers and big kids understand treats! Promise them you’ll stop for shave-ice after the photo session if they cooperate with you.
Eye Protection. Kids often show up with very red eyes… due to irritation from ocean water, allergies, sunscreen or possibly even just too much sun exposure on the eye itself. If you can get them to wear goggles and sunglasses the day of the shoot, it might help!
Dry Diaper. Change the diaper before the session and whenever you need to. Some babies and toddlers get very uncomfortable when wet and it is no problem to pause a session to change them.
Be Patient. Sometimes kids take a little while to relax and you may think they are too tired, or not in the mood, but usually kids get better throughout the session, not worse! So don’t give up right away if at first they don’t cooperate. They may just need to get used to the photographer and the experience of being photographed.
Relax. So, you may not have gotten that nap in or they may have refused to eat until after the session starts, but don’t worry… you will still get photos that you love! The more relaxed you are, the more relaxed they will be. Kids love having their parents’ attention focused on them during the session, and if you are having fun, they will too!
If you have other tips for what has worked for you, please share!