Experience has shown that the majority of difficulties experienced in photographing children and getting their true everyday personalities to come forth, are created unknowingly by the parents' actions. Having that special portrait made is an important event which need not be a stressful ordeal. It is human nature to try to prepare everything and everybody in order to make everything go right at the session. While it is extremely important to plan clothing, hairstyles and accessories, making a "big deal" of the session to the child can create an air of tension and apprehension with the child. It is too easy to lecture the child on what is expected of them etc. This normally puts the child in an agitated and apprehensive attitude, and many times the quest for the true personality is lost from the start. At best it may take hours to break through this barrier. Putting yourself in the child's point of view, the experience is not unlike going to the doctor's office. They are cleaned and "spiffied up", taken to an office with a waiting room, an adult talks to the parent, they are taken to a room down a hallway with equipment and lights, all of which bring about thoughts of shots or other painful experiences.
We try to make the experience a fun and happy time. We prefer to take time to let the child become familiar with our environment and become friends with us. We have toys and games which we use to play with the children and allow them to have fun. In addition to being equipped with toys, we have industrial strength patience. We allow plenty of time so there will be no rushed feeling if the child does not immediately respond perfectly.
We prefer to have the parents remain in the reception room while we work and play with the child. If the child senses apprehension on the part of the parents, they will in turn display the same behavior. We are very experienced at working with children at all ages, if for some reason it becomes apparent that the parents assistance is needed in the camera room, we will at that time, ask you to come in and assist us.
REMEMBER, the best preparation for the sitting is not to make a big deal out of it! Don't say "This is costing us a lot of money so you better be good", etc. It is much better to make the child feel they are doing something important, such as "Were going to surprise Grandma and Grandpa with some really nice portraits of you". This type of positive preparation goes a long way toward success.
If you have any questions on any aspect of selecting clothing, style of portrait, etc. we are always available for advice.