Tuesday, 7 October 2014

A Photo Shoot with Two Toddlers

About a month ago we decided that a long over due family photo shoot was in order. We kept saying that we wanted to do one for ages but then never really got around to doing it. We also didn't want anything too cheesy. I guess it is important to note that my husband is a very good photographer (and photo editor, thank goodness) so therefore he was leery about getting just anyone to take some mediocre shots and pass them over after we have parted with hundreds of pounds.

Admittedly, I did none of the research as 1) this is not my forte and 2) I would have just gone with the photographic studio in Mothercare or asked a friend to recommend one. At any rate, my husband picked out a photographer that he often saw the sign for on his way to work. What my husband failed to notice was that the sign on the studio said 'Commercial Photography'...whoops!

At any rate we made the mistake of really bigging up this photo shoot to the boys, so needless to say they were completely unruly when we arrived for the shoot. No, they didn't want to smile; no, they didn't want to change into something nice; no, they didn't want to sit/stand/lie down! My husband and I did a good job of making things work given the circumstances but the photographer didn't have a clue.

Unfortunately, this photographer was used to working with models so kept asking us how often we had practised with the boys? What?! Never! It is supposed to be fun and natural and we were expecting him to have had a bit more experience with children on shoots. The boys are normally quite happy and love to smile and laugh - just not that day. He also kept saying things like get rid of that toy or just hold them still. Again, not helpful and not happening! I think his biggest mistake was not taking the camera off the stand and walking around to capture less posed moments.

At that point, I told my husband that we should just make due with what the photographer had already and head out. We did get a few of the two of us as well which were nice, but not made without comments from the photographer such as 'you know you don't need to smile with your teeth!'. Cripes, sorry mate, that's how I smile when I'm happy!

I don't want this post to come across as a massive whine; after all we did manage to get a few beautiful family photos (after some editing by my husband), we spent the afternoon together, probably got a deal on the price and I'm sure we'll someday be able to laugh at this experience. Plus we have some good photos to show at the boys wedding (hehe!)! :)

So here are a few tips I took away from the experience:

  • Book a reputable family photographer who has a few year's experience (especially with little ones)
  • Don't make the trip to the photographer's a big deal (I think in hindsight it stresses the little ones out, this might be different for slightly older children)
  • Put the little ones in the clothes you want them in for the photos (changing doesn't work, or just change shirts)
  • Make sure clothes, props etc... are ready well before the shoot (yes, we were ironing about 2 minutes before we left the house!)
  • Bring only props that you don't mind having in photos (just in case they won't let go!)
  • Try for more natural photos (less posing = less stress for the little ones that don't want to sit still)
  • Go to the shoot with ideas of any poses you do want
  • Go to the shoot with ideas of what you don't want 
  • I would recommend a morning shoot (we had afternoon) but that is based on my children being happier and more rested then
  • Have fun and relax! Show who you really are toothy  grins and all! ;)
Have any of you had good or bad photo experiences you'd like to share? 

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