A portrait of your child’s sincere and intense gaze is a parent’s lifelong treasure. Looking back at the photo, you might recall less fondly how mere moments after that shot was one of the worst meltdowns of the “terrible twos”. But taking family portraits doesn’t have to be stressful for you or your children; with a little preparation, it can be a family outing to remember.
First, give yourself and your child plenty of time for a photo session. Try to schedule a shoot during a time of day when your child won’t be hungry or tired--but have snacks and a favorite blanket on hand, just in case. Plan for brief periods of structured group arranging and photographing, and in between the family poses, allow your child to create space for himself. Being in a world of her own making can keep her engaged and feeling empowered. You can then take a moment for yourself, too!
The wonder of exploration or the security of favorite toys can be as much a part of your family memories as the perennial group shot. And no one can resist a smile singing a favorite song from school. Children partake in fun activities best when there is little to no pressure to perform. As much as you know you the time is ticking on your family session and ALL YOU WANT is the family holiday card photo, make room for being silly. Start singing and see how quick they join in! We can pull out our iPhones, play their favorite song and start dancing. If nothing more, it certainly is entertaining watching toddlers show off their dance skills. But the end result is a good time and smiles on camera to prove it!
The science of neurodevelopment shows that children’s brains are wired to make connections first with familiar faces.