10 Tips for Getting the Most Out Of Your Portrait Session – Children

If you have booked your “Portraits for Pixels” session with one of our participating photographers – thank you so much for your support and we hope that you enjoy the experience!

The next step is to get ready to get the most out of your session. Of course, all participating photographers are fantastic professionals with excellent portfolios but as with all things, it’s always best to be prepared on your end too.

For those of you who are have young children and are getting ready for their individual portrait sessions or a family portrait session, here are 10 tips from professional photographers for getting your children to be at the best for the sitting:

Portrait Session Tip 1: Dress for Comfort. Don’t dress your children in cute but uncomfortable outfits. Nor should you put children in over-sized clothes bought for them to “grow into.” Instead, aim for comfortable clothes that look good and allows them to move around unrestricted depending, of course, on the weather, the season and where your photo shoot will be held.

Portrait Session Tip 2: Timing is Everything. Pick a time when your child/children is/are comfortably alert and fed. Some photographers recommend mid-morning, others will work with you to set up a session tailored to your little ones’ routines.

Portrait Session Tip 3: Relax. The best portraits often come when people are relaxed and at their most natural and the same goes for children. So make an effort to be relaxed and cheerful and to enjoy the session – this will create a positive atmosphere and may rub off on your children, getting them comfortable and at ease.

Portrait Session Tip 4: Getting That Smile. Children are often nervous at photo shoots and it is not unusual for a child to refuse to smile and may even cry or refuse to pose. Instead of forcing them to pose (which makes many children uncomfortable), try playing tag with them, bouncing them up and down, tickling them or twirling them. These actions frequently elicit smiles, relax children and make for wonderfully natural portraits.

Portrait Session Tip 5: Early is Good. If you are having the session at the photographer’s studio, make it a point to get there 15 minutes or so earlier to get the children used to the venue and comfortable around the photographer. If the photographer is coming to your home for the session, ask him or her to come a little earlier so that the children can get used to him or her.

Portrait Session Tip 6: It’s All About Location. Most photographers are happy to schedule on-location portrait sessions, so choose somewhere that your children are familiar with – their favourite park or playground or beachfront. Maybe even get the photographer to come to your home.

Portrait Session Tip 7: Get the Right Prop. For very small children, having the right toy will help with getting them focused and smiling, so bring a few favourites with you. Try to avoid scuffed or dirty toys and be cautious about taking away props, such as pacifiers or rattles, which could result in un-photogenic tears or tantrums.

Portrait Session Tip 8: Food, Food, Food. While it is inadvisable to give children lollipops, popsicles or other foods and drinks that might stain a child’s mouth or clothes just prior to or during the portrait session, having a treat to hand for afterwards is sometimes helpful. It is also best to schedule the session after a meal to ensure that the child/children have enough energy to focus.

Portrait Session Tip 9: Be Prompt. Children have the attention of a gnat, so don’t expect them to sit still and wait around for long periods of time. Your family should arrive ready to go and prior to leaving for the portrait session, you should take the precaution of calling the photographer to check that your session is going ahead on time so you do not have to wait for too long.

Portrait Session Tip 10: And If Things Are Running Late… Photo sessions can sometimes overrun as you and the photographer work on getting the best shots of you and your family. Bring your iPad or some books with you to keep older children preoccupied if your portrait session is late in starting or if you have to wait between shots.

Inspired to book a “Portraits for Pixels” session? To check if there is a “Portraits for Pixels” photographer in your area, check our listings page.

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