What are our sessions like?

Bringing my child for a portrait session, how can I get the best results?

Here are some useful tips to help in creating the very best results from the portrait session:

  • Keep it positive and fun – this is the most important tip!
  • If your child is at all shy, be patient and give them as much time as they need to warm up to me and my camera. Parents are eager to please by urging the child on, and this never really helps. Let me create a bond with your child at their pace.
  • With very young children try to keep the ‘variations’ to a minimum, starting with the most important poses.
  • For example – child alone, child with sibling, child with grandma, child with a different outfit, etc etc. Children, especially younger ones, only give me so much time. When they say the session is over, it’s over. I can’t control that, so I try to get the key shots at first.
  • Please don’t answer for your child when he or she is asked a question because I try to bond with them by getting them to talk to me. I sometimes will reach out and “test” them to see how they will respond (if they reach back to hold my hand/finger). It tells me if I’m gaining their trust.
  • Never, ever say “smile”. I try to get them smiling at other things that create ”real smiles”. I will make some silly noises, ask funny questions, encourage some singing of favourite songs, and of course, there is always the ending that comes with the rewards of candy, and/or stickers.
  • I encourage you to have a vision (bring your personal ideas or personal props)for your session. Many parents bring in one or two outfits, hats, favourite toys. Remember changing younger kids usually changes their moods too. Try to keep it simple.

What should we wear?

I do have an entire list of suggestions that I will send upon booking.  Ultimately this is entirely up to you.  Keep it simple is the most important thing.  We do encourage you to keep the clothing changes to a minimum, perhaps no more than three, especially with younger, more exuberant children.  Remember that we want to focus on you or your child’s face. Once you book your session we will provide a page of tips for what to wear.

How long will the session take?

This really depends. We take all the time it will require to capture the best expressions and poses. We urge you not to rush your children, let them warm up at their own pace, not yours. Kids sessions can be done in 30 minutes, family portraits up to an hour, while newborn sessions often take a few hours. Some may take longer. It really depends on what your vision is for the session and what the mood of the kids happens to be on that particular day.

My child won’t smile, what should I do?

The very best and often the most favorite expressions with many clients are the more serious, pensive looks. Especially with children.  The best way to get great smiles is by playing games, singing songs, anything they love to do. Never a “sit and say cheese” approach.

Should I be present during the studio session?

For older children we usually create the best results when Mom and Dad are not around. For younger babies it’s always best to have you help out in the studio. Only one parent is required. More can come if you wish.

Can we have our pet in the picture?

Pets are always welcome to outdoor sessions. Let’s talk about it, sometimes it is best for me to come to your home in this case.

My child is very shy (or is very active), what should I do?

Stay positive and keep smiling, this should be a fun and happy experience.  The last thing you want to do is get irritated with them.  If you are doing a studio session, they are coming into a strange place with people they don’t know and all kinds of strange equipment and lights.  Your best approach is to be patient.  Keep it light and let it be a game and let me try to work some magic with them.  Always advise me if there are allergies to food as I do often offer a treat as incentive.  They will warm up to us, or settle down, in time.  And this will happen at their own pace.  It’s important not to make a big fuss about the studio, or the portrait session beforehand.  Act like nothing is out of the norm.

My pictures didn’t turn out the way I expected them to, what now?

We promise you that you must absolutely love your pictures, or you don’t pay. It’s that simple. We will always offer to re-shoot any session that failed to meet your expectations.

All Images © Danielle Wilson Photography.