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Kids and Portraiture – Five Perfect Tips for Parents

Intro by Skip Cohen

As I’ve written so many times before, it’s incredible how much great content there is on the Internet, especially if you do a little searching on the movers and shakers’ websites in our industry.

I found this gem in Kay Eskridge’s archives and loved it for two reasons. First, I’m hoping it plants the seed with many of you on being more proactive with your clients. While you might think you’re doing everything you can to help them prepare for an upcoming portrait, you also might be completely missing the boat!

Take the time to see the world through your client’s eyes. For example, one of a bride’s biggest fears is what to do if the flowers don’t arrive before the photographer. The truth is, a great photographer can capture stunning images with or without the florist and needs to help the bride relax. As Bambi Cantrell has said many times, “A wedding isn’t a time when logic reigns as King!” So, the more you can do to assure your bride you’ve got things covered, the more relaxed and natural her portraits are going to be.

The second reason to share Kay’s five tips to parents is the simplicity of everything she wrote. She’s taken the most significant things Mom does wrong and turned them into a short tip list. If Mom follows her advice, the portrait session will go a lot easier with minimal chaos and Kay can demonstrate why she’s one of the best photographers in the industry.

Use your blog to help your target audience understand how well you know your craft. Use images that show outstanding portraiture and ideas on posing, what to wear, and themes you can bring into each sitting, just to name a few.

Your website is about what you sell, but your blog is about what’s in your heart. The two work together to help you establish trust and credibility.

By Kay Eskridge 

If you’re preparing for a photo session with your children, you may be feeling a bit apprehensive. Children aren’t always easy to deal with, which is why the tips below will definitely come in handy before your upcoming photo session.

  1. Don’t make a huge deal out of it.If you’re stressed out and cranky, your kids will usually pick up on it and act accordingly. Their behavior will usually be better if you are relaxed and having fun. You may have to make some compromises to keep the peace such as letting your energetic daughter’s hair stay straight instead of curling it into because she won’t sit still. Focus on the big picture and don’t sweat the small stuff.
  2. Make it fun.Let the kids have a couple “fun pictures” where they get to pick their own pose or props. You get to keep the more serious photos while they get to keep their silly photos. This way everyone wins
  3. Be prepared. If you’re going to be out for several hours, ensure that your children are well rested and have had their nap. Bringing some snacks and activities along is also a great idea. If you are having your own photos taken too then you might want to bring a babysitter or family member along to watch the kids. If you happen to be shooting in a remote location, you never know when you might need something like water, bug spray, tissues or a first aid kit so bring that along too.
  4. Be patient.Save your sanity by trying not to control the photo session too much. Sometimes the best photos come from kids just doing their own thing. I’ve been photographing children for 25 years so you can trust me to use my experience as a pro as well as my own ‘inner child’ to connect with them and guarantee a successful session.
  5. Don’t over prompt your child. Take the pressure off to make sure everything is perfect and that your little ones know how to ‘smile on command’. Let me do what I do best which is work with kids to get the best, most relaxed and truly genuine expressions. Trust me . . . you’ll be laughing at me too!