When I started to look at getting into photography everything I read said to stay as far away from child photography as possible. All these articles said you had to chase them, bribe them, put up with their crying, get dirty from getting down on their level, etc. It turns out that those are the very reasons why I love to take pictures of children. I love their individuality, sense of independence, and fearlessness. Personally, I like bribing kids. Guaranteed they’re going to like me with bribes! HA! When I first started I was afraid kids wouldn’t like me since I’m not a Mom. It turns out this is why they like me! 😉 Nothing melts my heart like my clients’ children whispering their sweet secrets to me or slipping their hand into mine so we can walk together. I just can’t explain how much I love every single child I have photographed. But the fact of the matter is they CAN be challenging. They do cry and throw fits because that’s what kids do. I don’t look at this as something negative. I look at it as a unique opportunity to capture them in their true element…being a kid! Some of my favorite images of mine are kids pouting; because let’s face it, that’s a bit more realistic than a huge cheesy smile (although we always get tons of those!).
So when you have a kid that’s not ‘feeling’ their photo shoot take a step back and let them cool down. Kids are extremely resilient and will likely bounce right back. Some parents (especially my repeat clients) just let me handle the situation. I normally sit down with them and let them look at the pictures we’ve taken, play with my camera, or just talk nonsense with them and let them know I’m on their side. I always recommend parents bring snacks and toys for bribery if needed. I am not above a good bribe so long as it’s parent-approved.