For many the yearly mini session is something that is looked forward to (or dreaded) each year. Moms look forward to mini sessions to capture their ever changing family. I know I look forward to Christmas photos because I want to make sure I get myself into at least one photo each year. But I also know that dads and kids don’t always feel the same joy that us moms do.
Of course one year I know that the kids and even the dads will appreciate the photos. But It can be a challenge to convince dad to come along for photos and an even greater challenge to get the kids to cooperate.
Helping kids have a good session
Yearly photos don’t need to be headache or a miserable experience for your family. With a little planning and preparation you can have a smooth and even an enjoyable photography experience. There are a few things you can do to help your kids have a good session.
There are different belief systems about using rewards or incentives with children. Without diving into the philosophical argument of wether incentives are right or wrong, I will just give my view on the topic. Incentives are a powerful way to help encourage cooperation from young children. What incentive you use depends on how old your child is. Young children are thrilled with a handful or rice puffs, candy is a favourite for preschoolers, a small toy for kindergarteners and lets face it, cash for the teens. Incentives that are immediate are always the most powerful.
Tired children are miserable, every parent can tell you this. Make sure you stick to your usual sleep routine the night before. No late nights or change of nap times. The night before photos is not the time to move to a big girl bed or to go to a late night party. Ensuring your children are fully rested is very important for ensuring you have a great session.
After sleep I would say hunger is the next most important factor. Make sure everyone has had a full meal before their session and this includes dad. Pack easy to eat snacks that you can feed your kids if they are suddenly hungry again right before their session. Bring non messy non sticky food you can give them in the car such as a cheese string, pepperoni stick or mini pita breads.
Prepare ahead of time so you can leave with plenty of time to get here. I am well aware of the mad panicked rush of trying to dress and wrangle young kids to leave the house. Rushing around is stressful and doesn’t make you feel your best for photos. Sessions are timed and scheduled consecutively so please don’t be late! If you arrive late I can’t let your session run long as this will mean every session after will also be late. Late arrivals mean less time for your session and potentially less images to choose from. If you miss your session time I will be unable to reschedule or refund your session fee.
Preparing yourself for photos
Most people feel some anxiety about being photographed but here are a few things you can do to get yourself camera ready. 10 Ways to make yourself camera ready.