If you are ready to make your Christmas cards, you may be in the midst of planning your holiday photo sessions. From clothing choices to the location, you have plenty of decisions to make. Consider doing a holiday photo shoot of your children with you as the photographer. Whether you have experience behind the camera or not, you can capture amazing, unplugged, beautiful moments that offer an insight into your child’s life that is tough even for professionals to capture.
3 Tips To Make Your Children’s Holiday Photo Session Go Smoothly
Children can be difficult to direct in front of a camera, but it is well worth it when you snap a photograph that only a parent could capture. You can follow some key advice to help make your children’s holiday photo session go well.
1. Help your children become comfortable at the photo shoot location.
Allow your children to play lightly and relax for a minute before the shoot. Even if you have a lot on your mind, remember that your children need to be showing a positive attitude in the photos (and that’s not something they can fake or that you can force). Note that you want them to be energetic and happy, but not out of control and rowdy.
Choose clothing that fits well and that has comfortable fabric. Simple cotton fabric with festive stitching is preferable to items with too many embellishments, such as sequins and beads. For our holiday photos, Georgiana wore the Smocked Holiday Dress from Feltman Brothers.
Not only did the dress have incredibly soft fabric, but since it was loose, she was delighted to move around, and she had the most serene look on her face for the whole photo shoot. Feltman Brothers has a wide variety of soft, comfortable holiday outfits that not only look beautiful on camera, but also make children happy.
Another strategy to help your child become comfortable at the location is to let your children relax and know that every second doesn’t have to be full of picture-perfect smiles. Sometimes, a picture that doesn’t look posed can offer a delightful peek into your child’s world.
Getting your child to relax and be comfortable is the key to a good shoot. As tempting as it can be to resort to bribing your child with candy or giving your child a toy, these props can be a big distraction in your photo. To get the most from your photo shoot, schedule it for a time when your child is well rested, happy, and not hungry.
2. Make eye contact behind the camera.
When you have your camera set up, raise your eye level just above the camera and engage your child in light conversation. When your child looks right above the camera into your eyes, the photo will look as though your child looked right in the camera.
Using this strategy can also help lighten your child’s mood. When you break eye contact, your child can become nervous and start to look posed and stiff.
With toddlers, you can make silly jokes to make their face look more lively and natural. Mention their nose (and add in rhyming words, such as toes), and you will get gorgeous grins. As you watch your child’s nervousness fade away, they can show their personality more.
3. Have your camera out and ready to shoot, since your child may decide when you have enough pictures.
Children are notoriously fickle with their choices. Have your camera on the right settings and be prepared to snap photos. I usually take multiple pictures with my Panasonic GH4 in one setting, and I keep my cell phone nearby for additional photos or video if needed.
Since children are very active, you should be prepared to move around to get the right shot. This is not the time to set up a tripod, unless your child is usually very still.
During our recent photo shoot, I learned how important the first shot is. Georgiana insisted we walk out on a golf course to get a photo in front of a fountain. I assumed that I would snap away until I found just the right shot. After I took the first photo, Georgiana immediately ran away and said, “That’s enough photos, mom, you got it!”
Usually, I shoot until I get just the right shot, and I like to have more photos rather than too few. When you take photos of children, you might have to settle with the first few you take. Nail the shot early, and you walk away with a photo you love.
Do you take photos of your children for the holidays, or do you hire a professional? Share any photo tips in the comments.
I received a free item, but it in no way influenced my opinion.