We love photographing children! They are entertaining, honest and wear their emotions on their sleeves. We are well rehearsed in children, Caitie has four, Amy has five, and has taught at the elementary school level areas of preschool, special education and art for many years before turning to to photography full time.
Our ultimate goal is for your child feel safe and to make sure they are having a good experience. Working together with you we will help your child feel comfortable and truly happy so we may capture your child's true self and personality. We want you and your child to smile when looking back at these images!
Please know we will not judge you or your child.
We understand that some little ones with big emotions cannot always keep it contained (I'm sure we've all met a few adults who have trouble with this as well...). Amy has taught special education and has trained as a registered behavior technician under a behavior therapist so there's not much she hasn't seen or dealt with. We have never considered any child to be 'bad', no one wants to be in trouble, they simply lack the tools to convey what the problem is even if it is just 'I need attention' or 'I need some space'. Some little ones may have not been diagnosed with a sensory disorder, ADHD or the autism spectrum or are simply especially sensitive to the feel of the sand or are very shy and cautious. We want your child to have real smiles and will never force a situation they are not comfortable with. There are always options. We have our tips and tricks, all we ask of you is to relax and assure your children that this is going to a short and fun time! Be sure to let us know if there is anything that may trigger your child such as a certain song, topic or sensory or the adverse, if there is anything they especially like.
Let's look at it from your toddler's perspective for a minute. Toddlers are just realizing things may be going on outside their little circle and that caregivers are not always able to control every situation. This can cause new behaviors as they experience new emotions. Many times they have not visited a beach so it is a whole strange and new environment for them; all senses are on high alert and emotions are ramping up for all the fight/flight love it/hate it. This can be seen in many forms depending on the child. They can be shy, scared, nervous, anxious, or happy until they figure out what is going on in this new place. They will look to you to guide them, if you are stressed and anxious they can feel that.
Let's look at a few ways you can help prepare your child for your photography session
Once we are at the session we won't have a lot of time to coax out natural smiles for each shot. So how do we get the little ones to understand the concept of smiling on command when there's nothing in particular to smile about? We have a few tricks but there are things you can do to help as well.
Even as an adult if you put a time to anything you do not want to do it's so much easier to get through it. I save bribery for last. For one thing, it doesn't last long and I don't want to give away my secret weapon too soon. I keep a roll of Smarties on me because not only is there no saturated fat, very very little sugar (just 6 grams for a whole roll), they are also gluten, dairy, and peanut-free, according to the official website. It dissolves quickly enough for toddlers to not present a choking hazard, it does not leave candy trails on the face or hands and comes in rolls of 15 so it can be used more than once. I essentially buy their happiness and pay them to like me. "After every picture we get a Smartie!". (We do permission beforehand).
Start showing pictures and videos of the beach to get your child familiar with environment. A lot of children are amazed with the sand, they either love it and want to roll in it and eat it or they're scared it will stick to them and never come off. Try putting some dirt in a bowl for your child to play with and get used to the idea that it's ok. If you know your child has tactile sensory issues and will not get in the sand let us know and we can be prepared with something for him/her to stand/sit on during the session.
If you have anymore tips or tricks that have worked for you let us know in the comments below!