So you’ve got family photos coming up. You’ve finally figured out everyone’s outfits, and you’re planning out what you’re going to bring with you – water bottles & snacks, check! bobby pins / back-up hair ties, check! diapers and wipes, check! Now, if only you could bottle up a perfectly happy and compliant attitude for each of your kiddos and throw it in your bag, amiright? (Can I Amazon Prime that, please?!)
If you’ve ever worried about your child’s unpredictable behavior at your upcoming family photo session, first of all, I promise you’re not alone. Will they listen to the photographer or choose this moment to show how fast they can run in the other direction?! Will my toddler have an epic meltdown because I chose the pink bow instead of the *light pink* bow and hide from the camera the whole time (this would totally be my kid)? Well mama, if I’m your OKC family photographer, I’m here to encourage you to take a deep breath & try to relax. Here are 4 reasons why no matter what happens, your kids’ behavior won’t stress me out in the least!
If you’re not familiar with enneagram types, no worries (but also where have you been for the past 3 years?). In this context, what this basically means is that I am easy-going by nature. Nines are also characterized by being empathetic, adaptable, and calm in chaos. In other words, going with the flow is literally my jam.
Before photography, I was a child life specialist for almost 6 years at our local children’s hospital. If you’ve never needed a child life specialist before, you may have no idea what this is (and that’s typically a good thing!). As a CCLS, my job was to help kids and families cope with the challenges of hospitalization, illness, and injury. This meant anything from teaching a young child how to swallow pills, to helping a nervous 8 year old cope throughout getting an IV, to explaining to a child what cancer is using language they can understand. While I don’t practice clinically anymore, I still hold my certification, and many of my skills as a CCLS actually translate really well to my career as a family photographer in OKC/Edmond.
It was my actual job to help stressful situations be *less* stressful, so that’s always going to be one of my goals during a session as well. After helping anxious, screaming children cope through painful procedures, trust me when I say that when your kiddo doesn’t listen to every instruction I give, I’m totally un-phased! Let’s just move on and try something else. P.S. The same goes for if your newborn cries during our entire session – this doesn’t stress me out, and I promise we will make it work!
Okay, duh, you probably already knew this one, but I think it’s important to note. As a mom of a stubborn and spirited 2 year old, I will be the first to encourage you (and myself) with this fact: your child’s behavior is not a reflection of you. I would never expect perfection, and I promise not to judge you as a person or a parent if your kiddo is wild or crazy or has a tantrum or is just in a mood during our session! I’ve been there, and I got you.
Also, in my experience, if your child becomes disinterested or upset during the session for any reason and needs a break, let’s give them one! 9 times out of 10, they will be watching all the fun we’re having, get a little bit of FOMO, and come running back to join in.
Again, duh. But seriously – I could have been a wedding photographer, but the truth is that I am 1000% more intimidated by a young engaged couple than by your unruly toddler, haha! I specifically CHOSE to be an OKC family photographer because I love kids and think families are a really good fit for me. And also because I think photos are an incredible and important legacy to leave your family!
Is your 5 year old super shy around strangers and doesn’t love their photo being taken? No problem. Let’s let them take their time getting comfortable, and if needed, stay near or in mom and dad’s arms the whole time.
Or what about if your 2 year old wants to act like a T-Rex for the majority of our session? Sweet. Bring it on! (aka this happened last week – we rolled with it, got a ton of fun shots, and had a blast!).
It’s important to me that your family’s unique personality shines through in your gallery, and that includes the personalities of your children! Just try to relax, let me do the directing, and your job is to have fun with your kiddos! All of that being said – you absolutely know your children the best, and I’ll always welcome a pro-tip from a parent. If you think of something that you know will make your kiddo smile, loosen up, or engage with me better for our session, be sure to give me a heads up! I truly want our time together to be as enjoyable and as stress-free as possible for everyone.
P.S. This little one was FULL of personality during our milestone session at my studio, and it was awesome! Isn’t she precious?!