Over the last 11 years I have found that parents really do set the tone for the session. As a parent myself, I know that the day of the session is stressful. Mom is trying to get her hair and make-up done WHILE keeping the kids from getting food no their shifts and then everyone hops in the car, you hope everyone has enough food/water and doesn’t have to pee…. I get it.
BUT! You still have a lot of sway and here are a few three things you can do:
There is a instinct to try to control play at sessions. When we are out and about, it is obviously not ideal if our kids are playing and running around but they have some nervous energy too! They are dressed up, meeting a stranger and they can sense that whatever they are about to do it important! Sometimes the best way to release that energy is just simply play with them. If they see you are smiling and happy- they will likely mirror you!
Instead of trying to get kiddos to stand near you or with you, give them some really big snuggles! Out of all the things a family can do, more than a smile at my camera, I love a warm moment between you and your kiddo. So if you see that cutie and want to run up and give them kisses all over their cheeks, I will be there to capture it. I would say, even if you are not the most snuggly family, be your snuggliest at the shoot!
I know it is really hard to relax when you are in front of the lens but you will see when you meet me that I am really silly. I am not trying to have this experience be extremely ridged, kids may have fussy moments. They may fall down and scrape their knee and cry. All of these things are so normal and perfectly fine! I have literally seen it all over the last 10 years. So my invitation to you is to relax and. be present.