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Category: Portraits

Ariana V
Top 10 Tips for Kid's Photography 2022

You have chosen to confront the (sometimes) bittersweet challenge that can be taking professional and loving family photos– with kids.

As a mother of a toddler myself (and survivor of raising another), I know first-hand that if you want any kid to cooperate, you’ve got to speak their language!

Before the big day, be sure that you have spent some time talking with your little ones about this exciting adventure you’re all about to embark upon with the entire family, especially your toddler(s). Tell them a little bit about me and what we’ll be doing together! Share pictures of where we will be going for our session together to get them excited!

Get your kids involved by talking to them about where we’ll be meeting for our session together.

Get them excited about the journey in a way that encourages them to look forward to the destination.

For example, if your session is going to be at a location such as the generously gorgeous Los Angeles Arboretum and Botanic Garden, you can get the kids excited about being greeted with gloriously breathtaking resident peacocks. Be sure to mention all of the plants and flowers you will meet along the way!

The point is to find something that they can get excited about, depending on where you’re going. Show and tell them about it and watch their imagination soar!

Including them in the process is sure to foster a sense of importance and belonging.

If you are going to expect anything, expect to have FUN!

As a parent, I can completely relate to any sense of frustration that might come when dealing with an uncooperative toddler. As your professional bestie, however, I’m up for the challenge!

Your time is just as valuable to me as my own. While it’s true that not all children are created equal, my goal is to equip and educate you with what I have found to work best, based on my professional experience throughout the years.

In my experience, I’ve found that kids don’t take kindly to being told what to do. I’ve also learned that it’s all in the approach. Without the right approach and the right tools, a professional family photo session with kids might be a little overwhelming, but it certainly doesn’t have to be.

Speaking of tools, use ALL the props!

Bring their favorite toy, security blanket, or both!

Trying to force kids into doing anything that wasn’t their idea doesn’t make for an enjoyable experience (for anyone involved). I think you deserve more than just your average traditional family portrait with forced smiles.

Most kids love their toys, especially mine. Perhaps yours has that one item they refuse to leave home without. No judgment here. I think bringing their favorite possession to our session would be an excellent idea!

Not only would they have the comfort of knowing they have their favorite item, but it’s also a great tool that I can use as an ice breaker to help ease any shyness. Kids love talking about their favorite things, and I have a talent for capturing the natural glow in their faces, sparkle in their eyes, and organically gorgeous smiles, while they do.

Having an item they are emotionally attached to might facilitate memory building and they can associate the item with our family session experience– making the event all the more sentimental for them! Moreover, props allow personality to shine through when used in photos. Every family portrait is an opportunity to share your uniquely beautiful story and express your family values, culture, passion, and more.

The result? Organic expressions of joy and love.

I used her favorite Christmas ornament to capture this gorgeous (organic) smile!

Don’t forget the travel bag — did you pack the snacks and extra outfit(s)?

Parents everywhere know that kids love a good snack– in fact, mine don’t cooperate at all if they’re even a little bit hungry (hangry). Some kids might be in a stage of development where they are still learning how to eat without making a mess, or how to use a napkin. It’s a good idea to pack messy-free snack options, water, and probably an extra outfit (just in case). I always overprepare when it comes to packing travel bags for the kids.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

― Benjamin Franklin

There will also be times when I will act as a fly on the wall of your beautiful, natural, moments; capturing live-action memories of your family as we go forth on our adventure together during this session.

If you have any questions, or if you need some more ideas, feel free to contact me directly! I’m here and happy to support you in making sure you feel prepared and at ease when it’s time for our session. Schedule your free consultation today!

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Ariana V
How to Prepare for Your Holiday Family Photoshoot

‘Tis the season…for family photoshoots and holiday greetings!

The holiday season can be one of the most wonderful times of the year. In the midst of all that holiday cheer, it’s also the most wonderful time for your holiday family photoshoot.

Whether you’re planning to use the photos for holiday cards or you’re diligently updating your family photo book, you’ll want to be fully prepared so you can get the most out of your holiday session.

Fortunately, you’ve got a professional bestie like me to set you on the right path. Check out my pro-tips in preparing for your holiday family photoshoot with me.

Tip 1 – Coordination is Key!

There are few things more precious than a family who coordinates their outfits in a family photo.

This rings true during the holidays, too.

Here are some questions to consider when coordinating your next family outfits:

  • Should you wear matching pajamas, or are you leaning towards a fancier theme?
  • Should you go with a classic flannel, or bold solid colors?
  • Will your session be outside or inside (be sure to consider the weather)?
  • Furbaby? Have them coordinate too!

Note: if you’re planning to use the photos for holiday cards, you may want to take the background settings and color of the cards into consideration. For example, if you’re going to use earthy tones on the cards, or if you’re considering choosing an outdoor location, colors such as red, tan, or white will pop nicely and be visually appealing. If your cards will incorporate red tones, you should consider a background setting and colors that would fit well with the overall aesthetic of your cards. For the best results, choose colors that are opposite of the ones in the background of your cards

Tip 2 – Bring in the holiday props!

Even if you’re going the traditional route for your holiday session, it’s always a good idea to think about using some props to bring out the holiday spirit in your photos.

Props can be great for photoshoots with kids, too! Who doesn’t love a Santa baby?

Here are a few ideas for props you can bring with you to the session (of course, feel free to add your own):

Family ornament or heirloom

Holiday stockings

A letter to Santa with cookies and milk

A favorite stuffed animal or toy

Favorite blanket

For pets: favorite toy or snack to keep their attention

Tip 3 – For the little ones…

Fellow parents, the first thing you should do is check out my blog on my best tips for preparing for our family photo session with the kiddos.

Be proactive about a travel bag. Have the snacks, drinks, after-photo incentives, and an emergency change of clothes–you know, in case of any accidents–ready to go.

You can get the kiddos even more excited by having them choose their favorite holiday prop for the photo (from your approved options). The look of pride in their eyes when they get their chance to show it off will be priceless–and my goal is to capture that moment.

The important thing to remember here is that you can take advantage of props! Even if you don’t bring any, you can rest assured. As a mother myself, I know how to get on their level and speak their language. I know how to bring out that precious smile!

Tip 4 – Get ready to laugh and be merry!

In our session together, you can expect to let loose and have fun (’tis the season after all!)

I’m here to capture and memorialize your genuine family chemistry. Say goodbye to rigid smiles and forced poses, all you need to do is be ready to laugh and be merry. No pressure.

Break out your holiday accessories! Let your spirit shine and express yourself.

Tip 5 – Book your session in advance.

The most wonderful time of the year can also be the busiest.

Don’t let a full appointment book be the reason your friend with that “really great” camera takes your family photos this year. While the sentiment is sweet, you and your family are worth going that extra mile, or in this case, that early booking to reserve your spot with me.

Booking in advance also gives you plenty of time to visualize what you want your family photos to represent. My goal is to make memories that will last for generations to come.

Schedule your free consultation today!

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