Family Sessions (With Young Kids)
Mini sessions for families are some of my favorite shoots. Primarily, I shoot (with a camera!) preschool-age kids, during the week, with my "A Little Glamour" program. Through this, I've come to realize that doing portraits with kids is an art AND a science.
Small kids have an attention span of about 10 min, if you're lucky. At least, the first 10 minutes has been my "sweet spot" when doing pictures that include little ones. Now, 10 minutes is not a lot of time for a shoot, so I have a lot of tricks that I use when I'm out in the trenches.
With a short mini session lasting about 30 min, you can get a lot of great shots by moving a lot, switching up your background with a short walk, or, in the case of Las Sendas, a ride in a "super-fast-racing-mini-car".
Another great way to keep kids from getting bored is to not do too many posed pictures. Have them just interact with their parents and snap away. Make sure your shutter speed is quick enough to "freeze" them, because, boy are they fast!
I love having families walk together holding hands. Usually, we end up with kids being swung or twirled, and who doesn't love being tossed around by their parents? It puts a smile on everyone's face!
This little guy was so interested in the bunnies that were all over the place. We encouraged him to check them out, and warned him to go slow and quietly so he could get close. He kept turning around and doing the "shhh, be 'wary wary quiet' " move (I kept thinking of Elmer Fudd)...so stinkin' cute!
After having the kids move around and switch the scene, they're more likely to sit, pose, and say "cheese". Although, making them laugh produces much better smiles! I'm not above making funny noises, silly faces, and acting like a total goofball.
When you do, you can end up with shots like this...
So, make sure you switch it up when you've got young children in the mix. Keep it fun and casual, have a few tricks up your sleeve, and definitely hire a photographer that has experience with kids.