When working with children, you need to be flexible. As a Mom, I know you want your family portraits to be great and as a photographer, I want that too. Kids, however, don’t always follow this theory! If there is a day that they are not into being photographed, its always the day your session is scheduled. Been there, done that. Sometimes we need a little sugar to encourage better behavior! Positive attitudes and a little encouragement work well to provide for a happier session.
As a parent, I know sometimes I have needed a little sugar to help life go by without a fight, for both me and my kids. I take the same stance with my portrait clients. A little sugar (*cough* bribery) helps a portrait session go a little bit easier.
When you have a positive environment, you get honest smiles, eyes filled with laughter and the child(ren) will look forward to getting photographed again.
With the thoughts of encouraging a positive environment for my sessions, I created the Treasure Box concept to help add a little persuasion into my portrait session mix. The Treasure Box is filled with toys, candy and trinkets to encourage good behavior.
During our initial consultation, I ask about what types of topics (i.e. activities, colors, books, TV shows, TV/movie characters) your child(ren) in interested in. I do this so that I can get down to their level and talk to them about what they like. This helps to keep their attention and focus. It also helps children who might have any anxiety about being photographed.
Using the children’s ‘likes’ my clients tells me about during the initial consultation, I try to stock the Treasure Box with toys, trinkets and sometimes candy (parent approved of course due to food allergies) that will appeal the child(ren).
At the start of the session, as a group with parents present, the child(ren) get to preview the Treasure Box. I let everyone know that if we do really well during the session at the end of session, they get to pick a prize (with parental approval of course).