So as parents we usually want our kids to behave in public, especially during their family or child photography session. We want them to be kind and well mannered, or at least I do. I notice sometimes that parents get anxious during sessions and want their kids to be on their best behavior. BUT this actually works against the process. When kids are working on behaving they are self conscience and focusing on acting well mannered…not natural or themselves.
I prefer when kids are not on their “best behavior” but just hanging out having fun. Then they are not as aware of themselves and that is when the magic happens. You get more natural smiles and body language. I am writing this because I noticed this during a session with my own kids. I wanted them to sit, behave and give me a natural smile….that smile that I love so much. But instead I got this awkward smile that reminded me of the episode on Friends where Chandler can’t smile for a picture. So then I did what I do at all my child photography sessions. I relaxed and just started playing with them…treating them like any other client family photography session. Not acting like their mother. It is hard to separate the mom from the photographer. When it is my own kids all the things I tell parents goes out the window and mom mode appears.
So when your kids are acting a little crazy and you feel like we are not getting anything good, that is probably when I will capture your favorite image from the whole session. My best suggestion for a family photography session is to just relax and have fun. Because those crazy faces, you will probably love those pictures as much as the smiling ones a few years down the road.