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. 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.
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! Late arrivals mean less time for your session.
Time between sessions
Between each session I have at least 30 minutes which allows me to let the outside air circulate the room and allows me to disinfect any surfaces that are touched. Please read my post about Covid safety for more details about my cleaning process.