As you all may know by now, I have 3 lovely children, two of which are autistic and have adhd.
So, trust me when I say I understand the thought of having a photo session can really fill you with pure dread and completely put you off the idea.
Trying to get them ready, having them kick off because it's the last thing they want to be doing (whether they have ND issues or not) just gets your blood pressure rising before you've even managed to get them into the car.
Let's stop. Let's breathe. We are in this together.
The only people who really like and appreciate photos in these moments are the mums. Very very occasionally some dad's will too but come on its normally us mums isn't it. So how do we get around that stress which evidently will help to ensure a smoother session? Bribery. I'm all for bribery. New magazine. You got it. New toy. You got it. You want sweets. You can have them.
Children are clever and if they know you want something they'll expect something in return. Don't show them that you're stressed. They'll know they're winning. They have this kind of superpower, once they see that first crack appearing they can slither in, and you've lost it. I have a calming nature, once you're with me I'm pretty good at reading children. The shy ones warm up quite quickly with me. The cheeky ones love the fact that I let them be them. The loud and boisterous ones make me laugh. Please don't stop your child being them. I want your child to feel comfortable with me so let them act like they would at home, I really don't mind. Trust me they cannot be any worse than my 3! This also builds trust between us. If they see you as a parent letting them be themselves around me, a stranger, they will automatically feel safe and comfortable with me.
I also love portraits of children not smiling. This may sound weird, but I love seeing their soul in their eyes. I really dislike cheesy grins. It just doesn't represent my style, and do you know what - I actually get genuine smiles when I ask them NOT to smile. So, you get mixture of classic fine art portraits and genuine smiles. The number of times children leave the studio saying they had fun, and it wasn't as bad as they thought it was going to be is amazing.
Of course, some sessions are chaotic I won't lie, but I'll still manage to give you a beautiful gallery of images to be proud of, and yes, you'll need to stick to your end of the bargain and give your kids what you promised.
If a studio session still fills you with dread, then a location session on Talgarth commons will be absolutely stunning for you. Your little rugrats can run around until their little legs cannot run anymore, mixed with fresh air, they'll be absolutely shattered for the rest of the evening for you. Sounds amazing right?!
Whatever age your children are, you should be capturing them - and I would love to be the one to do that for you x