Kids and energy go hand in hand, we all know that. Being a mom of two young girls, I understand the energy kids can have. Especially kids under the age of 5 who seem to be on the go all of the time. Many parents stress out when their children are about to be photographed, because they worry that they won't sit still, or will look away. I being one of those parents. Choosing a good reputable photographer in Ottawa that has worked with children is one wonderful tip. However there are things that a parent can do to help them sit for even just a few seconds to snap that perfect shot. After all, all it takes is one second to create a lifetime memory.
1. Bring a stuffed animal/blanket: In my experience, I’ve found bringing my girls favourite blanket to any outing they feel nervous about, helps to calm them down and feel more secure. Kids usually have a toy, or a stuffed animal or blanket that they have grown fond of and will bring them everywhere for comfort. By having this comfort along with them, they are more likely to self soothe using said item. If they are more calm in the environment, they are more than likely to allow your photographer to get that perfect shot. Just keep on keeping on.
2. Try being stress free yourself/patient: I’m sure most parents have heard that kids can pick up on your emotions. If you’re feeling stressed or agitated, a child can sense this and behave the same. A young child wants to copy their parent and their behaviour, so the more calm and stress free you are around the photographer and their equipment, the more your child will behave accordingly. Try being there for them and show them that you are happy and calm and they should follow suit.
**note from Erika- most of the best pictures of children are the ones where they aren’t looking! They don’t have to be smiling for the picture to be beautiful- just as long as I can get a shot of how beautiful their eyes are! Sometimes it helps if you can get them something to play with to keep their focus, and the more you tell them what to do, the less chance you will have of them “shutting down” :))
3. Get them excited/be goofy: This tip works great with both parents and photographer alike. Being down at a child’s level will help them feel more comfortable with the environment. A good photographer will try and be goofy and make funny faces, all to get your child looking at the camera, smiling or better yet, laughing. Encouraging them with positive words will also help them feel at ease. By having you and the photographer working together with humour and excitement, the child will see both that their parent is having a good time, and the photographer as a good thing.
These three tips are just some of many ways to help your child/children be comfortable having a photography session done. After all, kids run the show in the end.