Last week I was leaving a Southern Maryland Family session, and as we were saying our goodbyes, the youngest daughter ran up to me and gave me a big hug, and the grandma said to me, “Thank you for being so patient with them. I really appreciate it.” I smiled and said something to the effect of, “Oh, it was nothing.” On the car ride home, Grandma’s words came back to me, and it made me think. It wasn’t the first time a parent or grandparent, feeling slightly frazzled about their kiddo’s behavior, has said something to me along those lines.
Let’s be honest here: kids are going to be kids. I know that. I embrace that. Kids getting a little amped up at our session? That’s okay. Acting a little goofy? That’s not abnormal, either. They’re kids, and chances are, they act this way at home, too. A photo session isn’t going to magically make those tendencies and behaviors disappear, sorry. In fact, a novel situation with an unfamiliar adult is probably going to bring out these behaviors a little more strongly, at least at first. And that’s okay.
Did you read that?
It’s OKAY. I expect it! So don’t stress, truly. Don’t get mad, don’t feel frazzled, because your kids pick up on that energy.
Instead, trust me. Trust me to do the job you hired me to do.
I have years and years (and years and years) of experience working with kids of all ages and all abilities. Through my experiences as a nanny, and later as a teacher, I’ve gotten pretty good at reading kids and recognizing signs of “okay, this kiddo needs a break” or “this sweet baby needs some more time to warm up to me.”
So when I say to your kids, “hey, take a five minute break to get out your sillies,” trust me. When I say, “Hey, let’s just walk and talk for a few minutes. We aren’t even going to take any pictures just yet,” trust me. Please.
When you trust me, that’s when the good stuff starts happening. When you’re relaxed, and your kids are feeding off your calm energy, they start to relax, too. If I feel like I need you to step in, I will absolutely let you know, but please, don’t worry. Don’t get mad, don’t feel embarrassed, don’t let yourself feel frazzled. When you trust me to do my thing, I promise, magic will happen.
I’m working on a couple of blog posts that will offer tips and advice from previous clients about preparing for a successful session. If you have questions you’d like answered in an upcoming blog post, please leave your thoughts in a comment!