I took my kids, Jack and Audrey, down to the beach the other evening for some photos for a number of reasons. 1. We had such a beautiful sunny day, I knew the sunset would be lovely. 2. I haven't taken many photos of them recently. 3. I have been thinking A LOT lately about my style of capturing photos of children.
I recently created a questionnaire I will be sending clients before we officially book their session. In that questionnaire I include a detailed section about my style of photography, making it very clear before anyone pays me a deposit what they should expect. And that includes more candid photos, and maybe some posed if the kids are willing to cooperate.
What I've learned from capturing family photos with children involved is you never know what to expect during a session. You simply have to show up (without huge expectations of how you want them to behave and sit and smile) roll with it and make the best of it.
Some children are shy, so I may have to capture them cuddling with mom a little more than she would have liked, but what a special memory to look back at. Some children are very busy and won't stop for a photo. That's cool too. That just means I move around with them. They may not pose or even look at the camera during the session, but in 10 years when you look back at the photos, you're going to smile and think, "Remember how busy he was."
Some children may get upset for various reasons during a session and might have a little cry. That's when I pull out every trick or tactic I know of to distract them or help them feel comfortable with me.
If your child poses and smiles and gives us big laughs during a shoot be very thankful for that! That's amazing. If your child is busy, plays and has fun, or gets a little shy but cuddles with you during the session, that's amazing too. Here is the very short, but candid (no expectations) shoot I did with my kids at the beach.