Tomorrow, my girls have a photo shoot with the supertalented and sweet Meggan Harper , and after hours of deliberation and a last-minute consultation with my sister and my friend Erin (I cornered them today at French playgroup), I finally chose the darling dresses that they will wear to the shoot (this is Eva’s version), and that will end up on our Christmas card. Last year, my friend Gloria said that of all the cards she received, the soft pinks and greens and beautiful pictures of my card (also designed and photographed by Meggan) was the runaway winner. So I have a lot to live up to! I chose these beautiful snowy white dresses over the red ones, which are equally lovely, because I think they will create pictures that are unexpected, ethereal, and as angelic as my girls (ahem!) can be. : ) The girls will wear silver hair accessories to pick up on the silver in their dresses, and no shoes. I love seeing little feet! I have probably done a dozen shoots since my first daughter was born more than four years ago, so I have a little experience in preparing your kids and yourself for a photo shoot. Here, a few pointers for your upcoming holiday portrait photo session:
1. Stay Close to Home: For the first few shoots with my girls, and the first one with a new photographer, we always opted to pay a little bit more to have the photographer come to our home for the shoot. Little ones are more comfortable at home, and when you capture them in their natural habitat, magic happens. Plus, this is a great way to get the most beautiful candids of the kids playing, running, etc.
2. Prepare to get in the picture: Some kids (and you know if you have them) won’t open up and relax for the camera unless mom is nearby, or maybe even in the picture. Wear a photo-worthy outfit in case you need to jump in.
3. Bribe, bribe, bribe: When Lola was 22 months old and Eva was 11 weeks, we did a shoot at our home, in the nursery, that resulted in some amazing pictures. Eva was easy – if I held her, she was happy. But our wiggly Lola cooperated for one reason only: Sweet Tarts. The photographer’s assistant dispensed them like, well, like candy, and it worked beautifully. It was a rare treat, and after that I called her my Candy Girl.
4. Pick the cutest outfit you can find: No matter how your child behaves (or misbehaves), a cute outfit will go a long way to getting a cute final shot. Plus, especially with little girls, the cuter she feels, the cuter she will act. Try to make sure the outfit is simple enough to showcase your child’s true beauty, and that you will still love it when you look back on it years from now.
5. Pick a great photographer! If possible, find a photographer who has experience working with babies and kids. These pros know all the tricks to getting kids to cooperate, and have a way of bringing out your child’s best for the camera!