Laughter, How to have a Fun Photo Session
Twelve by Twelve Blog Circle
So, you booked your first professional photo session, and you are nervous, you are worried you won’t know what to do, how to stand, oh, and heaven forbid, what do you do if your kids act crazy or misbehave. Am I right? Are these some of the worries you have before your family pictures? I get it, I have kids and a family, too, and most of the time, my husband is the biggest one kicking and screaming. So, when I saw the Twelve by Twelve blog circle topic this month was “laughter” I thought of all those laughs I get during photo sessions. And how much I want the real smiles and laughs in my own pictures, and many times get in my sessions.
The best thing to do before a session is plan for it, make sure your kids have eaten well, bring clean easy to eat snacks for the session, maybe not book a session during their nap time or bedtime is a good start as well, and of course make sure your spouse has had their snacks too if they are not big fans of pictures. Maybe talk about how fun this is going to be in the days leading up to the session, not stress, stress, stress, because kids will pick up that pictures are stressful, too. But even before you start the prep a day or two before, more importantly, get the right photographer for your family. Do you want a more traditional photo? Or, do you want a more relaxed environment? Or even think about how much time your family will need for photos. Do your kids take a while to warm up, or are they short with attention spans? All of this will help you find the right person for you and your family needs.
I always do a questionnaire for clients before our sessions as well. I love to know what books are kids favorites, or what show is their favorite right now. Knowing those little details can sometimes help break little ones out of their shy shells. I mean, who doesn’t love a photographer singing “Dora, Dora, Dora the Explorer” completely off key? It can probably make any one laugh!
Here are a few of my favorite “tricks and tips” for making clients laugh.
- Probably my biggest go to is animal noises. Seriously, I can probably “oink” better than most pigs. I have oinked while shooting boudoir photos as well, because I just think it relaxes everyone…myself included. I always try to do it when least expected and when we just get settled into what I call “the grandma pose” which is the pose where everyone is lined up and looking at the camera, for at least one shot of everyone looking at the camera and smiling. I don’t do “head swaps” in my sessions, taking one picture’s smiling head and putting it on another one where everyone but that one person wasn’t smiling. It is just weird to me, and not really what happened…so in order to hopefully catch it naturally, I go with oinking!
- I will usually make someone give me a “serious face” if I find they are not giving me any genuine moments of laughter or real smiles. Dude, have you ever tried to stare for the camera? Especially if your parents are right there staring at you, too. They break every time…seriously. If you don’t break into laughter at the absurdity of it, I don’t know…you may be too serious!
- Tickles, I mean, it is as easy as that most days guys. If your little one is not happy during the photo session, it is okay to just be yourselves and be silly, goofy and tickle and spin to make the session more playful.
- On the same lines, ring around the rosy, or other games, like “everyone smoosh together” can also break up the feeling of just staring at me and the camera.
- Good old fashioned questions about “who has the smelliest feet, mom or dad, or your brother” or “who farted?” also work on most families, too.
Here are a few of those real relaxed family photo session moments I love the best! And don’t forget to check out Laurel Photography, South Tampa Photographer, and her post for the Twelve by Twelve “Laughter” blog circle, too.
Yes, not everyone will want their picture taken, but these real smiles on that top left photo are priceless and part of the memory of the real photo session. And, yes, kick me with water, it will be more fun, I promise!
Probably one of my favorite families to photograph ever, not only do they dress like rock stars, but the whole session is full of this real, family fun. Tickles, hugs, kisses, snuggles and just all out hug fests!
Another favorite family who can really love each other, have fun and look amazing at the same time, despite frigid cold winds, and freezing temps for Florida. I mean, I know as a mom, I want someone to capture me smiling so big with my kids and have a spouse be just as happy and loving, too!
If you still feel like you need some help in this department, here are a few more articles on how to get people laughing, more for photographers, or how to relax for families.
- http://savageuniversal.com/blog/ideas-to-get-people-laughing-for-a-portrait – I loved this trick, and I think I will be stealing this line for my next session by asking “I’ll try one more photo to see if you can all keep your eyes open this time.”
- http://www.asortafairytaleblog.com/2013/02/photography-tips-tricks-making-your.html – I agree, compliments go a long way, and I definitely need to be reminded to do this…I can see how amazing things look and need to reassure you guys when taking the pictures…because I know I need that as a client when being photographed as well!
- http://www.jasminestarblog.com/Index.cfm?postID=1462&faq-how-to-capture-fun-engagement-photos – this fun and real stuff is for couples, too, and I do love how Jasmine Star can make anyone look more relaxed than me after a spa day!