GETTING THE MOST FROM YOUR FAMILY SHOOT AT HOME
So you’re all booked in and want to know more about getting the most from your family shoot at home? Below are some tried and tested tips and things to bear in mind ahead of your shoot…
Let’s talk about bribes…
I’ve seen it all nowadays, and although I really do know that kids are tricky and sometimes bribery is the only way possible, please avoid it pre-shoot! Try and get them excited about the new friend that is visiting (me, just FYI!) and all the fun we’re going to have there rather than the treat you’ll buy them when we’ve finished for being good. When they know there’s a treat at the end of the shoot, even the most well behaved children that are really enjoying themselves suddenly start spurting tears, don’t want to play anymore and have to have that treat right now! Also, when they’ve been bribed to be good, it makes the whole shoot a bit of a big deal and puts pressure on them – we want them at their most relaxed so I can get photographs of them playing and their personalities so again, please avoid this!
Let your child lead the shoot
Basically, during my shoots, the golden rule is your child (or children!) can do what they like for the duration! If they don’t do as we ask, we just go with it rather than telling them off. We let them lead the shoot. With at home shoots I only start photographing when the child accepts me as their friend (unless they’re babies in which case it doesn’t apply!) With some children, as soon as I get to their house they are leading me around and showing me their bedroom and toys straight away. With others, I might have to sit on the floor, talk to mum and ask them all about their favourite dolls or superheroes for a little while first. The only way is to go with it, whatever happens! They don’t even have to look at the camera if they don’t want to – although I’ve not yet had a child that avoided looking at the lens for the whole time yet! If they start being really ‘naughty’, let me deal with it, they’re more likely to listen to me in this situation as I’m a stranger – we’ll keep it lighthearted though and then carry on playing. I want you to enjoy the shoot too so not having to worry about telling them off is one less thing to think about!
Don’t worry about mess
By all means, if you want to do the washing up before I come over and make the bed, that’s cool – but don’t worry about any mess that’s being made by your little one while I’m there. I want you to relax and enjoy it, not to be cleaning up! Mess is all part of the wonderful story of our shoot. It’s easiest when you’re happy that there’s no room off limits as there might be incredible light in a particular room, so bear in mind that we might not just sit on the freshly plumped sofa for the duration of the shoot, so if its super crucial to you that your photos are in spotless rooms then have a little tidy up first!
Choose an activity
Perhaps it’s making cakes or having a bath. Think of a ‘normal’ day to day activity you can do whilst I’m with you. Capturing day-to-day memories like these are just magic. We’ll do some ever so slightly more posed ones of you having a cuddle and things too, but it’s nice to plan something in addition to this and playing!
If you’re still yet to book your relaxed family shoot at home, you can do so here.