A photography session with kids can be a good time, but oftentimes, they're little stinkers who can sense when we are anxious. That's when all cooperation flies out the window. If you're on vacation it can be especially difficult! Traveling is rough, being in a new place can be overwhelming, sand can feel icky on their toes, and oftentimes the bedtime and nap time routine is all out of whack. We really can't expect them to be their best, but we can encourage and have a good time along the way!
1. Tell them you're meeting your friend. We've exchanged emails and we've probably had a phone call or two. That's good enough to be considered friends, right? I'm just the friend from Florida who loves the beach and taking pictures. Let's all just hang out and have fun! (I can't take the credit for this advice, though. I once photographed a married couple who were both psychologists and they told this to their toddler sons. Those boys warmed up to me immediately!)
2. Do not threaten negative consequences before or during the session. They may push your buttons and you may feel tempted, but remember: No one wants to give a frame or canvas worthy smile after being threatened.
3. Promise them the world. Yes, they can have all the Dippin' Dots after the session! (Click here for a list of places to go for fun treats after your session) We want that joy shining through their eyes. Tell them sweet things like that you're proud of them and you love them so much.
16. Leave the cheese at your vacation home! Please, do not say that word….unless you're bringing me some wine. Let's play games and say silly things instead. Don't worry, smiles are bound to happen and believe me, I'm quick to focus and press the shutter button.
5. Late naps. If possible, put the ones who need naps down a bit later than usual. In the summer, the sun sets later and sessions begin about an hour before sunset.
6. EAT! Absolutely eat something healthy. Let's have happy bellies and stable blood sugar. I'll bring the candy. (And will only distribute it with your permission, I promise!)
7. DAD! Listen up! Play along with the games. Laugh at yourself. Laugh with everyone. Your mood is especially infectious!
Here's a dad who ran in for a tickle and ran out again. We got some real good smiles from all of the kids by playing like this. I'll help you all do what it takes to have a great session! This awesome muti family bunch had their portrait session at Santa Rosa Beach off of County Highway 30A on Florida's Emerald Coast.