Why am I blogging about this? I am not in this business to capture photos of people “cheese” smiling at the camera. I do capture these, and I know that people generally love them, but it’s not the heart of my business. The heart of my business is in the moments in between; the genuine smiles, kisses, laughter and the time we share together. The experience we share and the memories you are making during the hour we spend together is the most important, the photos come second. I am capturing what is happening right in front of me; your family and your love. My number one priority is for you and your family to have a fun hour together; to smile and laugh and look back at the photos like it was one of the most fun hours you’ve spent together in a while. <3 Plus, toddlers usually don’t know how to fake a smile yet, so we’ve gotta get those real smiles to show regardless. I decided to write this blog for any parent (including myself) who has struggled to capture a photo of your wild toddler and wondered why it wasn’t easier. It’s not the easiest, but the things above help. And I mean this, even for the photos that we capture with our phones, you are going to LOVE the photo when you look back and remember how cute and silly your kiddo was being, not that you yelled out in complete exasperation “PLEASE LOOK AT THE PHONE AND SMILE”. (ps-we’ve all been there, I don’t judge ;) …)
What can you do? As a parent, let your kids know that family photos are FUN and make them fun. Before your session, let your kids know you’re going to have some fun together at the park, while a friend takes some photos. During your session, relax and let the events unfold. Try your best to take off your parenting hat for an hour (within reason, I don’t obviously want your kids to ride away on a strangers motorcycle) and show your kids some love, snuggles and tickles. You know when you were a kid and were on vacation with your parents and wondered- who the heck are these people and why are they SO HAPPY right now? Be that parent. Take an hour off. Take a mini vacation with your fam. Show your kids you ARE fun when you’re not doing laundry. And make your kids laugh and smile like you always do when the camera isn’t around to capture it. After your session, tell your kids about how you had fun and ask them what their favorite part was. Get them excited to see their photos. Share the photos with them when they arrive, and print out their favorite for their bedroom wall. Hang your favorites on your walls to remind your kids every day how much you love them, and how much fun you had that day.