Let’s rethink children’s portraits. In the quest for the idealistic image we tend to try to conceal real life. When left to their own devices, children usually provide an authentic and beautiful version of themselves. Let’s encourage that, not squash it. I always encourage kids to be kids during a photo session. A child should never be told, “No don’t make that face” or “Not that smile”. Moments are fleeting in childhood and part of capturing the true essence of childhood is catching it unplugged. The less primping and priming one dose on their child (outfits, hair) the better. Causing stress right before a photographer shows up will only lead to a stressed-out two year old. So here are 3 tips, whether you’ve hired a professional or your trying yourself:
- Don’t worry about what they are wearing. Everyday clothes, no clothes, a tutu, whatever. Let them be wearing what they like.
- Don’t worry about that bit of jelly on the corner of her/his mouth that is still there from breakfast. Kids have runny noses, misplaced hairs. There is no such thing as perfect.
- Allow them to be holding something, if that’s what they like. A stuffed animal, a worm they found, a shovel from the sandbox. If it makes them comfortable and they don’t want to let go of it, don’t force it.