I don’t have any children myself, but I’ve learned from my friends that getting children to sit for a holiday card photo without anyone crying or refusing to look at the camera is like trying to find a Birkin bag on sale. So, when I made myself the art director of my bestie’s holiday card shoot, I knew I had to come up with a new strategy.
Based on my observation of children, they seem to like to run about freely and do whatever happens to interest them in the moment. This gave me my strategy: we would shoot my bestie’s girls, who I can’t help but refer to as “the princesses,” in their natural habitat. No one would be forced to look at the camera, and I would simply capture them being themselves: kids!
Step 1: Determine the theme & pick the set: My bestie had the brilliant idea to shoot at a park in Long Island City, with Manhattan as our oh-so-gorge backdrop! This gave me my theme, “Princesses in the City.” How chic?!
Step 2: Plan the wardrobe: To perfectly capture our princess theme, I selected light pink tutus, tops with glitter details, and fun accessories unique to each child’s personality!
Step 3: Get your little ones excited by telling them the plan ahead of time: I found telling the princesses what their set would be and showing them a photo of their entire wardrobe helped to get them on board (this can be done easily by placing each clothing and accessory item on the floor and snapping one pic of it all on your phone)! Sharing all this info with them let them know what to expect. Remember to think of little ones as humans: if you were going to have a photoshoot for yourself, wouldn’t you feel happy to be told details such as where you are going and what you are wearing?
Step 4: Determine the “activity” the kids will be engaged in during the shoot: Thanks to my husband, who has the very unique gift of relating to toddlers and figuring out exactly what would be the most fun game in the world to them, the kids were engaged in chasing him around the park, as I snapped image after image of them laughing and smiling!
Step 5: Relax! If you’re relaxed and enjoying yourself, it’s more likely your kids will be too! Remember, the goal is to capture your little ones having fun and being themselves! Your loved ones who receive the cards will LOVE to see them being who they are!!!!
Andrea Graye :)