Let me start by saying, I love kids. I'm a middle child and my mom stayed home with us along with taking care of some of my cousins and the neighborhood kids. So, I was always around other children, some younger, some older. In middle school, I got a job babysitting in the afternoons. Through word of mouth, that babysitting gig turned into various babysitting jobs and nanny jobs for years to come. I've had the pleasure of working with so many wonderful families!
You may already know, but my passion for photography started during those babysitting days! While I was babysitting, I would use the parent's camera to take pictures of their kids. Sometimes the pictures were pretty in their backyard or something. Other times I would do lifestyle pictures of the kids playing, making artwork, and things like that. It was an awesome experience for me and combined my two favorite worlds: photography and kids!
Nowadays, I photograph a ton of kids as my job. It's such a blessing to do what I love. My biggest, most helpful tip during these family sessions is actually one that I learned during my babysitting days. The parents that I babysat for loved the pictures that I took of their kids. They were always thankful and excited to see what I captured while babysitting. There was one question many of them had: "Why are they so good for you, but not me?"
Here's the thing, moms. Your kids know you. They adore you. And they know you adore them.
And they know how to push your buttons. They think of me as a fun babysitter that lets them eat candy and runs around their house with crazy dance moves. Or they know me as their goofy photographer who makes silly faces and says funny things.
Sometimes, (not always) the kids are just not having it. They are just not happy about pictures and no matter what mom says or what dad does, smiles or cooperation are just not happening.
So here's the thing: it's not that they're "so good" for me. It's just that when you aren't around, they're attention is focused on my weirdness (side note- I need to tell my siblings that my weirdness has a perk).
My biggest piece of advice during a photo session, bigger than bribing with suckers or promising chocolate or a trip to the park later, is to walk away. Yes, walk away from your kids during a session with me.
Not far away. Like don't leave us stranded and go out to eat. But just step away a bit and let me work some magic. 99.9% of the time, the child(ren) will focus on me and I can make some not-so-cute faces to get some adorable faces our of your kiddo(s).