I’ll contact you shortly before the session to confirm the booking. I’d normally leave that until a day or so before the actual session so we can get a more reliable look at the weather forecast in case there’s anything nasty definitely headed our way. All being well you’ll get a text or a call from me to confirm time and place (but if at anytime you want to check, just give me a buzz).
Similarly if someone’s sick or something else comes up just call me and we can re-schedule the session. I want to get the best images and that’s not going to happen if someone – especially a young child – is suffering with something.
The most common question I get asked about is clothing. There’s no absolute rules here but there are a few things to bare in mind:
- Everyone needs to be comfortable and free to play. So warm but not too snugged up, layers they can take off if they’re hot and something handy to put on if it gets cold.
- Cute hats are generally good – especially if they’re used to them – but try to avoid anything that will hide their faces in the pictures: hats with a brim, scalves, body warmers with high necks etc.
- Nothing too precious. They need to be able to play freely without you or them worrying about getting a bit dirty.
- While the ‘white shirt / t-shirt’ image is popular in the US, it can be quite hard on most Irish kids’ complexions – especially at this time of year. It’s also going to be the first thing to show dirt (and it may be too cool in Autumn as well).
- In general remember that we’re here to get pictures of you all and your faces are what we’re most interested in. So avoid anything that’s going to compete with your expressions visually: heavily branded clothes, tops with characters on them (especially faces), very distracting patterns etc.
- Brightly coloured clothing can work well in the forest but make sure it’s not too much (or clashing). Again, the problem comes when the colours take away from the kids expressions.
For most people the session is about the whole family but there are parents who don’t want to come into the photos. That’s a bit of shame but it’s OK. Even so you might be asked to support your children getting up onto a tree or something or just holding their hand at some point so even if you don’t want to do a full family photo, make sure that you’re wearing something you don’t mind being photographed in (even if it’s your back or your arm).
This is generally not something you think about before the session but getting this wrong in the middle of the day can make things harder than perhaps they need to be. It’s often occurred to me that I should have talked to parents about incentives before the session because they have an significant impact on childrens’ behaviour (for good or for bad).
There’s actually quite a lot of psycology in taking pictures. Offering a reward for ‘good behaviour’ with small kids can be hard to get right (and easy to get wrong). It tends to work once or twice for a short period and you never quite plan for what happens next.
In fact, this is a big subject and I’m going to need a separate post but suffice it to say here that you should think more about positive re-enforcements (“how nice this is going to be”) and distractions (“what’s over there?”) than offering a reward for ‘being good’. I’ll be doing my best to make the whole session fun and hopefully they’ll be happy and playful without the promise of a reward.
You know your own kids. If they don’t eat between meals, they’ll be fine. If they snack then yes, bring food. Something small, clean, easy / quick to eat and not too sugary. Bite-sized snacks that aren’t rewards are ideal.