If you’ve ever had a 2-year-old you will know this story all too well. You’re running late for family pictures because the toddler won’t put her clothes on, then she refuses to wear shoes (even though there’s thorns on the ground), and of course, she’s shy and clingy and wants nothing to do with sitting still for a camera.
As a mother of five, I can tell you that all my kids have gone through the terrible twos phase…though for some of them it was threes or fours…well, some of them just never grow out of it I suppose! And it’s a pretty regular occurrence that kids show up to their portrait session feeling very shy, apprehensive, or just downright grumpy. No worries, mom! Because the secret to getting them to open up to me and, yes, even smile and have fun is to take away the pressure. This bit of advice goes for toddlers as well as teenagers: If you (their mom) relax…they will too! But for some reason if getting the perfect family portrait is making you super stressed, it will totally stress them out too and no one (especially Dad) will enjoy the process. That’s why it’s always been my goal to not only capture beautiful portraits for my clients, but also to give them a great experience to look back on!
When the L family showed up at the Caldwell orchard for their family portraits, a little bit late and just a tad stressed, Chloe was…well…acting like any two-year-old does. I quickly realized I needed to make sure she knew she was in control and this was going to be fun! We soon found that she loved the apples! And the combination of getting such a novelty snack and getting to be silly and play games with her family lightened her mood. As we were almost done with the session, I told her mom, “Now just so you’re aware, in most of her best photos here she is holding an apple. I know that’s probably not what you had in mind for your family photos. What do you think?” And as any great mom who’s had to weigh the choice of which battles to fight with such a passionate tiny human…she shrugged it off. :) And in the end, I think the family came away with beautiful photos, and fun memories…like how Chloe laughed like crazy when she got to hit her big brother in the head with an apple. Hee hee :)