Let’s face it - most of us are nervous getting in front of a camera. It’s a big clicky piece of equipment that can seem very intimidating when its pointed right at you. I get it. You probably wouldn’t believe it because I do this every day - but I get nervous too!
So we’ve developed a few little secrets to help with making your session feel natural, comfortable and even fun!
Jokes. Okay, this one’s probably obvious, I know. But it really does work! I’ll often ask someone to tell their best joke, and that usually gets a few groans. But the smiles afterwards are completely natural, genuine and beautiful. The best jokes always come from Dads. They always know how to crack a terrible one that has the whole family laughing. It really helps to break the tension.
Having the kids help out. Kids have a limited attention span - and when they’re not directly involved, they can sometimes start to get bored with the session. So I enlist their help! I get them to stand beside me and make silly faces and try and get their parents to laugh any way they can. I’ll have them chase around mum and dad or even sneak up on them and give them a big hug! Kids love playing and just spending quality time with their parents, so this always ends in natural candids that are real, genuine moments.
Asking fun questions to get real reactions. I’ll often position everyone in a comfortable way where they can all interact with each other. Sometimes sitting, sometimes standing together. Then I’ll ask things like, “what’s the funniest thing daddy does?” or “Who has the stinkiest feet?”. When families start responding to my questions, I capture real moments of them interacting with each other. It shows a window into their lives, and it shows in their final portraits.
Secret 4 (Bonus)
Stepping back and letting you be you. This is my real secret to gorgeous, candid moments. At one point I will say, ‘take 5 and relax for a moment, just have a chat amongst yourselves.’ In this time, you’d be surprised how many families start talking with each other and just cracking genuine smiles. It’s a light breather, a chance to relax, a moment to break the intensity of having your photo taken. It’s also where I catch some of the best moments. I really am here to capture you, after all.