The Pre Photo-shoot Warm Up
Having been a Glasgow family photographer for over a decade, I’ve seen a fair amount of children having meltdowns in the studio. No parent ever wants to put their child through an upsetting ordeal but interacting with a complete stranger can be a big deal to some children. Having a photo shoot if not handled correctly can be daunting experience for any child and if not prepared it can end in tears and even put them off having another photo shoot entirely.
It’s going to be a little bit scary for your child to interact with someone they’ve never met before, so we really want him or her to be comfortable with me and with the studio surroundings. If we were to just throw them into the middle of the photo-shoot and complete stranger is jumping around, pointing a camera at them, trying to get them to look in my direction and smile, your child is more than likely going to become tense and not enjoy the experience.
That’s why I just wanted to take a minute to talk about the importance of the pre-photo-shoot warm up. What is this, you might ask? A warm up is the photographer-child interaction time that occurs before we begin the photo-shoot.
I always suggest that you arrive 15 minutes early to your photo-shoot so your child can have some getting-to-know-you time with me. Arriving early is especially recommended with young children as it often takes them the longest to start to trust a stranger.
During the warm up I’ll ask some questions about what your child loves, what they don’t like, we can play their favorite songs, and play some ice breaker games and I usuallly ask which parent has the smelliest farts, which will always get a reaction. This time allows me to build some trust, so by the time the session starts, your child is happy and comfortable around me.
By making sure you’re there early enough for your child to have this time with me is probably one of the most important tips for your child to have an enjoyable and fun photo shoot. Some children are super friendly immediately, while others need the full warm up time to start to feel confident enough to come out of their shells. And that’s OK; all this is part of the session. Don’t be stress, I’ve seen it all before and there’s plenty of time to work with your child.
The beauty of the warm up is once we’ve done a session and your child realises that I’m not a scary monster and we had fun together, the next session won’t need as much warm up time, if any. But for our very first session together, it is an essential.
All I want is for everyone to be happy, have a great time and the shoot to run smoothly.