There’s a conversation I often have with parents part way through the session as we’re moving locations or when we’re all finished and heading back to our cars.
It goes something like this….
“I’m really sorry, they don’t usually act like that!” or…
“I swear, they usually have way better manners!” or…
“I don’t know what got into my kids tonight!”
I want you to relax. I know they’re not usually like that.
The truth is, I want them to misbehave.
Because here’s the deal,… I wind them up. I get them going, especially in those few minutes when I’ve pulled them away from the rest of you so I can do portraits of each of your kids individually.
But it’s for a good reason
We don’t have that long together – usually 60 to 90 minutes depending on how old your kids are – before they’ve had enough of photographs.
That’s not a lot of time for them to get comfortable with me. And that time they’re not completely comfortable with me? That’s when you get the dreaded “camera smile” and it’s the reason you’ll likely see more photographs from the second half of your session than you will from the first
The fastest way for me to build that connection with them is for me to let them be naughty. That’s when I’ll see the sparkle in their eyes and their natural expressions that you want captured to display in your home.
My photography is all about connection and emotion, and I need you to trust me to get that the very best way I know how, even if it is a little unorthodox.The very important reason I want your kids to misbehave when I take your family photographs... Click To Tweet
One more request… as parents I need you to go along with it. Let them be naughty.
Your children pushing the boundaries of acceptable behaviour with me for an hour isn’t going to ruin them for life.
I do realize I’m making the rest of your evening just a touch more difficult, but it will be worth it when you see your images. I promise.
So the next time your son tells me a slightly off-colour joke that he probably wouldn’t dare tell other adults, I want you to smile and let him. Roll your eyes a little so he knows he’s getting away with something, but don’t scold him.
And when your daughter sticks her tongue out at me, it’s all good. I asked her to do it. Much to her delight I’ll take that photograph of her sticking her tongue out at me because she’ll get a kick out of it. But I’ll also take the one two seconds later of her cracking up with a genuine full-body laugh, because that’s the one you’re going to want hanging on your wall.
For the time we’re together, whether your kids are toddlers or teens or any age in between, let them misbehave. It’ll be worth it.
P.S. To find out how we can create meaningful emotion-filled family photographs for your wall, click here to read more about our portrait experience.