Parent Instructions – Family, Baby, and Children Sessions

Thank you for booking your session with Patricia Wade Photography. Welcome to the family!

Photographing your loved ones and your moments is so important to me. Creating beautiful images and lasting memories of the times you spend together is such amazing work. Over time, I have discovered some helpful tips to make it possible to have natural images of families with children, with little to no stress.

  • First, please schedule your session for when your little one(s) will be rested. Try to work around naps and mealtimes, rather than changing their schedule, as this rarely works and we generally end up with grumpy toddlers who do not want anything to do with their session.
  • Bring dry/non-messy snacks, and water or juice in a spill-proof container. Children get cranky when they are hungry or thirsty.
  • Please bring any lovey that they might normally have with them, especially if they are very attached and are unhappy without it.
  • Other things that may come in handy – wipes, at least one change of clothes, a comb or brush, and some parental enthusiasm! Also, please let me know if your child has any food sensitivities or allergies.  I generally offer bribes for cooperation – PEZ and Smartees candies come in quite handy for older toddlers and children.
  • Clothing that is weather/temperature appropriate and fits your child well.  Parents, I cannot stress this one enough.  A cold child is an unhappy child, guaranteed.  If it’s cold for your outdoor session, dress your child in layers, and bring a warm coat (and maybe a blanket!) for between shots.  Also, any clothing that does not properly fit is going to shift around or fall off.  Pants and sleeves that are too short are going to look even shorter when a child is bending their arms or legs, and tight clothing will bunch in unflattering spots as well.  When working with children, there simply is not time to constantly fuss with pulling their clothing on, up or down.  It is going to move, and trust me when I say that it’s going to happen a split second before he makes great eye contact with the camera and shines his best smile.
  • Now, onto what to expect for your session. My goal is to get actual expressions from your child, rather than “cheese”. I really try to connect and laugh and play, so that the images that come through my camera are natural and show your child’s real personality. Sometimes, children are wary of strangers, especially when they have a giant black camera in front of their face. This is totally normal and nothing to stress about. Let them stay close to you while we interact, so they know the camera lady is OK. Much of the time, the best way to get a reluctant toddler to relax is by playing. It’s a good idea to bring a favorite stuffed animal or truck, etc… to the session. Something that you don’t mind in the photos with your child. Sing their favorite songs, read their favorite story, tell jokes, tickle – these are things that are part of your family’s story. Why not document them?
  • Parents, please remember that I will do everything I can to get your child to look at the camera and smile a genuine smile, but it’s wasted if he smiles at me during a family image when you are looking at him to check on him.  Often, parents turn away from the camera to be sure their child is looking at the camera. Or, the parent points to the camera, so the child looks at the parent’s finger.  I have one piece of advice here – Don’t.  Every time you do this, a puppy dies.  Ok, maybe not.  But what really happens is that you look at junior in the one moment that he looks at me with his most winning smile ever.  Parents, your mission, should you choose to accept it – Look at the camera.  Smile at the camera.  Smile at your child, even. But do not point at the camera.  And let me interact with junior.  I PROMISE this will give us the highest likelihood of getting that amazing family image that you want.
  • We want to keep it FUN! I want you, your child, and myself to have a great time! Keeping things positive beforehand, not rushing or stressing out, etc… can set the tone for something fun and exciting up ahead. Not every child is cooperative, and that is OK. By playing together and doing fun things together, I can almost always get images that are beautiful and natural. One thing that rarely to never works is to threaten or spank. In fact, a few of my sessions have had to end simply because a child did not recover from being swatted or being fussed at by a stern parent.  If a kid is really having a tough time, give him a break.  Give him some space.  Let him sit in the car and drink some juice or eat a snack.  Don’t put a spotlight on him, or he is going to feel even more embarrassed and upset.  Regardless of parenting styles, your family and I have one common goal – to get AMAZING photos of your family. Keeping things positive and fun is the easiest and most realistic way of making this happen.
  • One last thing – children and parents who do not feel well do not photograph well. And, because I photograph so many births and newborns, it can pose a life-threatening risk to those clients for me to be exposed to illnesses, especially in close confines of the studio. And it truthfully also jeopardizes my family’s well being and livelihood. For these reasons, sick clients are always rescheduled. No exceptions. Please contact me if any of the following symptoms are present within 5 days of your session: sneezing, cough, runny nose, congestion, fever, aches, rash, or abdominal complaints such as vomiting or diarrhea.  Even if you think the symptoms are allergy or teething related, there is simply no way to be 100% certain that we are not dealing with a viral illness.  Advance notice is always appreciated, and I am happy to reschedule you at no additional charge if you or your child is under the weather.  However, clients or parents who arrive at the studio displaying any symptoms of illness are always asked to leave, their session is cancelled with no refund, and there is an additional session fee charged in order to re-book them.  Thank you so much for your cooperation.

I am very much looking forward to our session together! Please let me know if you have any questions at all about the session, what to wear, etc… I will be very happy to help!

Blessings,

Patricia

Please contact me if you would like more information, or if you would like to book a session: (432) 279-0742 or smile@patriciawadephotography.com