Jul 29, 2011

Vlog Friday: How I Get Ready for a Photoshoot!

Before you watch me get ready for a photoshoot, I thought I'd answer a question I've gotten a lot lately. People want to know how to get kids to smile/sit still/cooperate when getting their picture taken. Honestly, I don't have some magic formula because every kid is so different, so my biggest piece of advice would be to go with the flow! But here are a handful of quick and general tips:

1. Get to know them before you bust out the camera, and prep them a bit about what's going to happen on the photoshoot. Make it an exciting adventure for them.

2. Keep them busy! I sing songs wrong (The Mommy on the Bus says Move on Back, If You're Silly and You Know it etc.) and ask them to listen closely for me to mess up, play games (eye spy, telephone...), ask questions (how old are you? what's your favorite color? what color are your eyes etc.)

3. Have an arsenal of candy to bribe them with, but don't pull that out unless you absolutely have to because it often ends up being a distraction.

4. Let them see some of the pictures you've taken.

5. Take "breaks" but keep your camera ready. I often get the best photos when we're "taking a break."

6. Have the parents stand behind you and interact with the kids, but then again, sometimes it's better if the parents aren't there and I'll often ask parents beforehand what they think will work best for their child. Whatever the case, make sure you tell the parents beforehand if you're going to send them away. You definitely don't want to hurt anyone's feelings! :)

7. Balance things on your head.

8. Make up a funny story that includes animal noises. I always enjoy getting my woof woof on. :)

9. Play a game of catch. I have a soft, small baby ball that I bring. Sometimes I'll throw it to the kids and have them throw it back to me. If they hit me, they usually think it's pretty funny.

10. Full on act like a clown and you're good to go. :)

And finally, if you want to watch me get ready for the photoshoot I had a few nights ago, and hear a one-liner Lulu (thanks, Lu!) taught me that might get kids to smile, check out this week's vloooog (best if sung in opera voice):

And warning, it's terrible quality! I'm a photographer, not a videographer. :) Oh, and if you listen super closely at the end, I ask the girl my magic question...she didn't think it was funny. Dang.



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