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Portrait Photography: Getting Young Children to Cooperate

getting young children photos

Photo shoots involving children can be a challenge, whether the little ones are extremely active, camera-shy, or have a very short attention span. Thankfully, there are many ways to help make your portrait photography session a success. Keep scrolling to learn more:

Choose the Right Timing

A word to the wise: please, never book a photo session in the middle of your child’s usual naptime! After all, tired and hungry individuals tend to be grumpy and uncooperative, making it difficult to get the type of shots you want. Although some of the best outdoor lighting can be found in the morning, for example, it is essential to make sure your session does not conflict with naps and meals. Similarly, the light of late afternoons and early evenings is stunning, but such late hours may conflict with your child’s usual bedtime. A late night combined with the excitement of a trip may prove to be overwhelming. For best results, make sure everyone is fed and well-rested, and bring along a few snacks as well, but only bring them out as a last resort.

Pick a Fun Location

Children are much more likely to smile in photographs if they are happy and comfortable in their surroundings. Pick a location where your kids can play. The right location will help kids from getting bored and allow your photographer to capture a variety of natural, playful shots. Personally, I love being able to allow a family to relax and play with each other in the right setting and lighting, maybe amongst the trees?

Bring Shy Kids Out of Their Shell

If possible, arrive at the session a bit early. Doing so will give your children a chance to investigate their surroundings and interact with the photographer. Speaking with the photographer ahead of time, in particular, may help them warm up in front of the camera. Once the shoot has begun, let the photographer take the lead. Avoid over-coaxing or admonishing your kids, as neither method will result in great shots. In fact, trying to control the situation may lead to tantrums or emotional shutdowns. In these cases, I prefer you just chat normally as if you were at home. Don’t tell your kids to smile. That only results in fake grins. If you are cheeky and playful and make it fun, your kids will smile real genuine smiles that show off their true personalities.

To help your child feel more comfortable quickly, you could do something like ask funny questions. The resulting facial expressions and reactions are often priceless! You could also consider including your family dog in the shoot, or making sure that mum or dad is close by and in several shots with your shy little one.

Use a Bit of Bribery

Sessions should be fun, but your little one may need a bit of encouragement along the way. We will make the most of the time they pay attention on set, but you could also try to extend that time with the help of a few small bribes. For example, consider packing a few treats or a “treasure box” with inexpensive goodies as an incentive for your children to cooperate. Ahead of time, you could let them pick out a special outfit or some props that they get to carry and be responsible for during the session. A bit of external motivation often goes a long way in improving behaviour and staying focused.

Portrait Photography: What Not to Do

Although you will want your child to feel comfortable during the photo shoot, try to avoid talking about it for days on end. Discussing every detail can actually increase stress, as children tend to get worked up with anticipation before a big event. Instead, mention the session a couple of times and then give them more details the day of the shoot. On that day, be clear that the session is about having fun and that there is nothing to be nervous about.

During the session, avoid the ever-present impulse to tell your child to smile. Although this advice may seem counter-intuitive, telling a child to smile often results a forced, cheesy grin. Natural smiles come from being comfortable and having a good time, which is the goal of your session.

Need More Advice?

If you are still concerned about how your child might behave during a portrait photography session, reach out and contact me. Whether your family includes multiple, active little ones, or a child with special needs, I will work with you on an individual basis to capture beautiful images. Book a session today or contact me for more information.

Talk soon,
Margherita :)

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Family Photography: The Best Ages for Your Children to Get Photos

sweet-little-girlFamily photography is something I believe is absolutely perfect for everyone. It helps capture memories and is a wonderful time for families to laugh and relax. However, I’ve heard from different families that they aren’t sure what the best ages for child photography is and haven’t taken many, if any, family photos yet. I am going to take a look at all the different ages that are absolutely perfect for your children when it comes to family photography and why these are the best.

  1. Newborn Photography is Stunning

I adore newborn photography because it captures some absolutely gorgeous moments between the baby and family. This is a beautiful milestone, and is something that is incredible to look back on. I had one client who I photographed as a baby, and he now has a child of his own. We recreated his newborn photos with his newborn and it was simply lovely. This is a great memory for everyone and a milestone you do not want to miss!

  1. Cheeky Toddlers: Ages 1 and 2

This age is a fun one, but it can also be a little tricky. This is just around the time when many children learn how to run, which can make family photography a little overwhelming if you want them to sit still. However, this age is perfect because it allows you and your family to just have a grand time. You can run around the parks or beaches chasing your children, laughing, and playing pretend. I’ve had many clients who have done this, and the photos turned out gorgeous.

  1. Ages 3 and 4 Are Difficult, but Gorgeous!

This can be the most difficult age when it comes to family photography with your children, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid it! This could be a great chance to bring your child’s favourite toy to the photo sessions, and to feed them up before it starts. Once you get to the location, playing pretend is a great way to get them to relax and have a splendid time, without being distracted by the camera or me.

  1. The School Years: Capture Wonderful Milestones.

This is simply a lovely time for children and family photography! The school years are the time when children start losing their teeth, and growing and changing quickly. Capturing these changes is a wonderful way to create memories and capture amazing milestones such as progressing and beginning a new year in school.

  1. Teenagers Aren’t as Difficult as You Think

Many families have to deal with reluctant teens that aren’t keen on having their portraits taken, but these ages can be incredibly fun. This is the perfect chance to capture their individual personalities and let them do things they want in the photos. When it comes to family photography with teenagers, I always encourage my clients to let their teens dress how they want, and then I will let them pose in relaxed, cool ways to make the whole experience fun for them.

Once your children are all grown, you don’t have to stop – I’ve taken many photos of children all grown up into their twenties, and started the process over with grandchildren. I truly believe that every age is the best age for family photography because children grow and change so much, and it is incredible to capture that on film. Contact me today and we will chat about family photography and where we can go that your children will simply love!

Talk soon,

Margherita :)

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How to Get Gorgeous Family Photographs with Your Adorable Pets

Sept19Pet photography is a great way to get gorgeous family photographs that everyone will love. It is a perfect way to get everyone to relax while you are getting photographs taken, with zero fake smiles! When you bring along your pets, you will even notice that reluctant teenagers are more willing to get their portraits taken if their favourite pet is with them. I am going to take a quick look at how you can get gorgeous family photographs with pets to create the best memories for you and your family for years to come!

You Can Bring Any Pet

When it comes to getting photographs with your pets, many people assume you can only get photographs with dogs. However, I love taking photographs of all different types of pets. I had one client who brought his pet rats with him to the shoot and I was able to get some simply stunning photos of him with the rats. It was quite fun carrying around the rat cage and taking these gorgeous photos. In fact, my client called me a few years later and said that he appreciated the photographs because both of his pet rats passed away. The photographs were a great way to remember them. Having your favourite pet, no matter what it is, is a great way to have the best, most relaxed photograph session while creating wonderful, long-lasting memories. 

Photograph Cats in Your Own Home

Cats are some of the hardest pets to photograph. Unless they are well trained, you can’t take them out to a park or the beach. Instead, I always suggest getting gorgeous family photographs with you cats at your home. I can capture some stunning and fun images while you are able to relax in the comfort of your own home. However, if your cat is well trained, I will gladly take photographs of them wherever you’d like to go. 

Let Your Dogs Run and Play Before the Photographs

Of course, dogs are the easiest and most popular pets to have in your family photographs. I always suggest that young, energetic dogs should have time to run around and play before the session. This will help to keep the session stress-free. A great way to do this is to get to the location a bit before the session starts to let your dog run and play. This will help you get gorgeous family photographs because your dog will be more willing to sit still for a photograph and not want to chase and play with everything it sees.

Do you want to get gorgeous family photographs with your favourite pets? Then call and we can chat about your session! Let me know which pet(s) you would like to get photographs of and with, and we can arrange the perfect location and time. This is a great way to capture long-lasting memories, keeping the memory of your adorable pets alive for you to pass down generation to generation. Call me today, and we can work out something absolutely amazing.

Talk soon,

Margherita :)

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Getting the Best Out of Your Children for Family Photographs

Sept38I absolutely enjoy family photographs and I think they are important for all families to get. Pictures allow you to capture wonderful memories on film, giving you something to pass down throughout the generations. They also are wonderful to have hanging on your walls and in picture books to show off to friends and family.

However, you might find it difficult to get photographs because your children get too rowdy during pictures or never want their photos taken. Because of this you might not believe family photographs are a good idea for your family, but I am here to tell you I think they are perfect! I am going to look at three great tips for getting wonderful portraits of your children no matter what age they are.

Choose Something that Fits Your Child’s Personality

One of the best ways to make sure your children enjoy getting their pictures taken is to have a session that suits their personalities. I’ve had several quiet children where we took gorgeous shots in environments that were perfect for them, and I’ve had outgoing, outdoorsy children who ran everywhere. Both gave me beautiful smiles, which made the portraits perfect for families.

Now, if you have one child who is quiet and another who is outgoing, I think something like a park would be a great idea. One child can rest under a tree and think or read while the other plays on play sets and runs around. I can capture both of them in their element, getting stunning images for everyone and they will have fun doing what they love!

The Time of Day Can Make All the Wonderful Difference

Your children are a great indicator of when you should get family photographs taken. If you have younger children, getting photos taken earlier in the day works the best and older children, especially teenagers, can get their photos taken later in the day.

This is perfect because it lets the child be up when they are used to and I can best capture their true personalities this way! I had one family that loved getting up at the crack of dawn and wanted a session on the beach just as the sun was coming up. (This was a first for me!) It turned out gorgeous, and the family (and I) really loved the images. This session capture who they all are because they were up at their normal time and in their favourite location.

Feed Your Children Up Before the Session for Less Stress

A major reason why children throw tantrums before getting family photographs done is because they are hungry. Feed them up before you head out and I always suggest giving them a little snack right before. This gives them energy and gives me a chance to get some stunning snaps of them. This will also help mum and dad not be so stressed before and during the sessions!

Call me today and we can chat about family photographs for you and yours. Tell me all about your family, and I can help you choose the locations. I am also more than willing to give you further tips if you need any! It is my goal to help all of my families have the best day possible, getting the most gorgeous images they will be proud of for years.

Talk soon,
Margherita :)

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Photographing Children With Special Needs: Part Two

Special-Needs-Child-2In part one of my “Photographing Children With Special Needs” blog, I focused on some personal stories of when I have done sessions for families with special needs children. My goal is to show parents it is a wonderful idea to get professional portraiture of their children, with no apologies or feelings of embarrassment. As I have said, I love photographing children with special needs because each child is so unique and inspiring. I learn quite a bit from these children, and they truly enrich my life. Now I am going to take a quick look at the process of photographing children with special needs, aiming to help set your mind at ease about getting portraiture of your children. 

Meeting The Child and Family

One thing that helps me as a photographer, the family, and the child is to meet each other before the session. It is a great chance for a child to meet me and not be surprised when I seemingly show up randomlywith a big camera pointed his or her way. It also is perfect because I am able to talk with families about what the child needs. Does the child need a certain toy or article of clothing? What environment would work best? It is best to take photographs of a child in areas where he or she feels comfortable. This helps to get some of the most gorgeous, natural shots and help the child not worry or get stressed by being in a new environment with a new person. 

Being Gentle And Friendly

Having a friendly demeanour and being gentle with the child is also something that is important. I love to interact with children, as much as they will allow and always respect their wishes. Creating a gentle and friendly environment is great for all children, but especially when it comes to photographing children with special needs. They need to feel as relaxed as possible, which is possible with photographers who are gentle and understanding.

Flexibility Is Quite Important

One of the things I sometimes hear from parents is that they feel embarrassed or worried because their child cannot sit still or is not one to cooperate very well. When photographing children with special needs, it is important to be flexible and go with what the child is doing. This is one of the best ways to capture stunning images and is really part of photographing children overall. Allowing children to be themselves is important to me because I feel these photos are some of the most natural and beautiful shots anyone can get. In part one of this series, I had a client who had a young autistic child whom I followed around a park and snapped photographs as he ran to various spots. It was quite a lot of fun, and involved the necessity to be flexible. Because of being flexible with the situation, I was able to capture some of the most gorgeous shots of this child, and his parents were overjoyed to get such wonderful shots. 

Photographing Children With Special Needs Is Wonderful!

As I have said in my previous post, photographing children with special needs is possible and is absolutely wonderful! If you have a child with special needs and desire to get gorgeous professionally done portraiture, please contact me today!

Talk soon, Margherita :)

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Photographing Children With Special Needs: Part One

Special-Needs-Child-1Many parents long to get portraits taken of their children, and many who have children with special needs find that this can be difficult. This can stop families from getting photographs taken of their children, which means that they will not have many memories in the future. Photographing children with special needs is possible (and an amazing experience) let me show you by sharing a few of my own stories with you. 

Photographing Children With Autism

Children with autism range in how they react to certain situations, making it quite interesting to learn new ways to photograph them. For example, I have photographed several children with autism, but for this blog will focus on two. These two are completely different, and I learned some new ways in which to photograph them, capturing wonderful images. One was a 14-year-old boy who had a very short attention span. He would run everywhere, which led his mum and I to do the session in their backyard. This proved to be spectacular for the family, and I got some incredible shots of him playing on his favourite play set and with his siblings. I even had them all jump on the trampoline because it was a great opportunity just to show them all having a wonderful time together, being completely relaxed. Such a great lifestyle shot, as well, for the family!

Another boy I photographed had a different attention span, and loved his picture being taken. We went to some gardens with his mum and sister, and I was able to capture some gorgeous shots. He would run to a spot he liked and turn around with a gorgeous smile. He gave me about 30 seconds to a minute to capture this before he ran to the next spot. It was quite a bit of fun for all involved! 

Photographing Children With Asperger’s

Another session I did was photographing a young boy with Asperger’s who did not give much eye contact and rarely showed emotions, even if he was incredibly happy. I went down to the beach with him and his family, and I encouraged them to bring along the family dog. This proved to be perfect for this child and helped me get some stunning photos of him playing and showing amazing joy. Making him comfortable and relaxed was the best thing to do in order to get these stunning shots. This is quite true of all children, especially those with special needs. 

Photographing Children With Special Needs Is Possible!

Do not worry if you have a child with special needs – photographing them is possible! It is very fun, and I always learn new, wonderful things. I have photographed children with Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, blindness, and other special needs many times. It is always an incredible chance to meet lovely people and watch these incredible children just be themselves. Contact me today to learn more about photographing children with special needs! I will be more than willing to help you figure out the best setting for your child and will make the process fun and relaxing. This little cutie in the portrait is Jireh my nephew.

Talk soon,
Margherita :)

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