Enter some of the nicest, most genuine people I’ve ever had the privilege of meeting. Paige and her family were so sweet, and this little girl (nicknamed Toot) stole my heart in the best way possible! I literally couldn’t choose which photos to share from this session, so I shared almost all of them, haha!
When Paige first reached out to me about documenting her family I was a bit nervous. I don’t do newborn or infant photography and with my limited mom-brain I was coming up with ZERO ideas for things for them to do.
Let me back up a bit and explain. My photography runs on action, not poses. I’d much prefer a family to play Ring Around the Rosie, run races, jump waves, sing, dance, etc. rather than sit in a stuffy pose for extended periods of time. If you’ve booked a session with me you know I will at some point ask you to run (yes, everyone looks at me like I’m crazy), frolic, or any number of other things that seem soooo unnatural but make for awesome photos.
Back to Paige’s family session – I really had to think hard and come up with fun activities that would keep a non-sitter engaged and happy. I’m absolutely in love with the result, and I want to share some of the things I learned with you!
1. Getting parents to play with their kids is the first step. Many times sessions will start out a bit stiff and that’s totally ok! It takes kiddos (and grownups) a bit of time to warm up to the camera. Asking the parents to play and sing with their little ones is a good way to get everyone interacting in a way that is comfortable.
2. Use your surroundings to engage and entertain your subjects. Whether you’re on the beach, in a field, at home, wherever, I can promise you there are things that are natural to that environment that will capture the attention of children no matter how old. Since I’m on the beach the majority of the time I love having my families build sand castles together. Letting infants wiggle their toes in the sand provides a good distraction from the camera and is adorable to boot!
Side note – I think this is the closest I got to a smile from this princess, haha!!
3. Having one parent on their own play and interact with the littles is a gorgeous and adorable opportunity for photos. Sometimes just the act of removing one person is a good way to shake things up and change it around a bit.
4. For babies who aren’t quite sitting up on their own yet, resting them against mom or dads legs is a great way to get those “solo” shots!
5. Again, little things like planting kisses on cheeks and hands can create the most natural and beautiful images. Don’t be afraid to encourage your clients to be physical with each other. I like to tell my clients to love on each other, whatever that means to them.
6. Holding little ones up and crouching around them is an easy way to give the illusion of a bit of independence on the part of the child, but also bringing in a beautiful intimacy. My biggest tip is not to be hesitant to reposition parents if needed. Having one parent on the side and one directly behind the child is the best but if it’s not working for your shot and vision take your time and rework it until it’s right.
7. Holding little ones up over a parents shoulder is a good opportunity for some cute closeup shots and interactivity with parents! Again, take your time and reposition your subjects until it looks right.
8. Angle changes are great for adding variety without having to reposition your subjects. Get in close, above, behind, and all around your clients!
Again, my biggest tip is to keep your clients in their natural habitat. Whether it’s taking a break to eat or just singing baby shark over and over, I firmly believe the best photos are the natural ones.
Thanks for reading!