Your Children are so precious.
Remember them forever as they grow up
and change…remember the way they laugh and giggle and act silly… smile, run, play…
If so, here are some useful tips to help in creating the very best results from your child’s portrait session:
- If your child is at all shy, be patient.We give them as much time as they (not you) need to warm up to me and my camera. It is very, very rare that even the most apprehensive child isn’t my buddy after twenty or thirty minutes. Parents are eager to please by urging the child on, and this never, ever helps. Let me create a bond with your child at their pace, not yours. Please.(Most parents know this, and agree, but almost always have to be reminded about four times during the first five minutes of the portrait session) Also, try to keep the ‘variations’ to a minimum, starting with the most important poses. What do I mean? Child alone, child with sibling, child with grandpa, child with a different outfit, etc etc…’you get the picture’. Children, especially younger ones, only give me so much time. When they say the session is over, it’s over. I can’t control that, so I try to get the key shots at first.
- Please don’t answer for your child when he or she is asked a question. I try to bond with them by getting them to talk to me. I sometimes will reach out and “test” them to see how they will respond (if they reach back to hold my hand/finger). It tells me if I’m gaining their trust yet.
- Never, ever say “smile”. Forget it. That’s my job. Besides “cheese” is usually a fake or forced smile. I try to get them smiling at other things that create “real smiles”. Goofy faces, funny stories, slapstick, jelly beans etc…. you know, kid stuff!! Stuff I’m good at.(I’m a kid at heart).
- I encourage any ideas or props in your session. Many parents bring in one or two outfits. Remember changing younger kids usually changes their moods too. Try to keep it simple.
“Tina & Rob! Hi, just wanted to let you know that the portraits of Lara made it to Aurora safely…they are absolutely stunning! Both Curtis and I are so pleasedwith the final product and we look forward to sharing with them our family and friends. Thanks again for your time and your attention to detail. Paula and Curtis Jorgensen“
The most asked questions at Westmount Photography regarding children’s portraits:
- What should my child wear? This is entirely up to you. We do encourage you to keep the clothing changes to a minimum, perhaps no more than three, especially with younger, more exuberant children. Remember that we want to focus on your child’s face.
- How long will the session take? We take all the time it will require to capture the best expressions and poses. We urge you not to rush your children, let them warm up at their own pace, not yours. Most sessions are done in 30 minutes. Some may take longer , so it’s important that you relax and enjoy.
- Should I be present during the session? For older children we usually create the best results when Mom and Dad are not around. For younger babies it’s always best to have you help out in the studio. Only one parent is required. More can come if you wish.
- 5-Can we have our dog in the picture? Pets are always welcomed!
- My child is very shy (or is very active), what should I do? Nothing. You can’t control it and nor should you. They are coming into a strange place with people they don’t know and all kinds of strange equipment and lights. Your best approach is to be patient. They will warm up to us, or settle down, in time. And this will happen at their own pace. Not yours. It’s important not to make a big fuss about the studio beforehand. Act like nothing is out of the norm. Also, when we ask them questions, let them answer themselves. We have a bowl of healthy ju-jubes, a toy box to give them a toy to take home, coloring books to play with, fruit bars, etc. Rob always greets you by talking with the parents first and ignoring the child for a minute or two. There is a reason for this. It sends the message to the child that you and Rob are friends and you talk with him just like all your other friends. It conveys safety. Rob will then turn to the child and ask them a question. Please let them answer. He will also offer a hand to see if they are receptive. Never coach your child to smile or to say “say cheese”. Never rush them or urge them on.
- My pictures didn’t turn out the way I expected them to, what now? We promise you that you must absolutely love your pictures, or you don’t pay. It’s that simple. Although it doesn’t happen all that often, we will always offer to re-shoot any session that failed to meet your expectations.
“Dear Rob, We really wanted to personally thank you for the fantastic job you did on our daughters’ photographs. You’ve given us memories that will truly last a lifetime. We left your studio with such a warm feeling. We felt genuinely proud of our little girl! You brought out her true beauty and we’ve been able to share these long lasting memories with our entire family as well. Already we are eagerly looking forward to our next session. I went to a baby shower today and I could not have bragged about you more. I showed off my proofs from Saturday and told them all how incredible a photographer you are. If only I had pamphlets to give everyone. I did mention your website though. In ending, we would simply like to say thank you and see you at nine months. All the best, Gilles, Seline & Gabrielle Lemieux”
A poem on “children”: From “The Prophet” By Kahlil Gibran
Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you, but not from you, And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts. For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies, but not their souls, For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you, For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday. You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with his might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness; For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.
Pictures of our daughter, Danielle