How to help your photographer capture natural images of your kids | Athens, PA Child Photographer

This is part of my feature called Tiny Tips Tuesday, where I offer you tiny tips related to photography. Today I'm going to offer you tips to help your photographer capture the most natural images of your children. I'm sure you're wondering why I would suggest you "help" your photographer when your paying them to capture the images, but you can make their job easier, which in turn will make the final product worth your money.

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First, two DON'Ts.

DON'T say things like "Timmy, look at the camera..." or "Smile for the camera." Nothing tenses a child up more than being told to do something and nothing makes them more unlikely to smile than being told to do so. Not  to mention, posed smiles often look forced and uncomfortable. Let the photographer handle capturing that "looking right at the camera" moment, if that's what you want. Some of the best photos, though, are those where the subject isn't even looking at the camera. Photographs where a child or person is simply "in the moment," can mean the most in the future.

DON'T fix their hair and tell them it looks awful right before the photographer takes the photo. Nothing wilts the spirit of a child faster than their parent suggesting they don't look good enough for their photos. If you must fix their hair, do it with a smile and remind them they are beautiful and you love them. But I'd recommend not even fixing their hair. Let their hair do whatever naturally comes to it, just as your child should be allowed whatever comes to them naturally during a photo session. Letting them be natural will produce the best, most authentic images that will capture your child's personality, but also your memories of them when you look back on the images years down the road.

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Now three DOs:

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DO laugh with your children. Like Donald O'Connor said in "Singin' In The Rain" make 'em laugh. Tell them a funny story while your walking or playing and the photographer will capture the result. The laughter will help them relax and a relaxed child is what you most likely want to remember as they grow. The best images are often  those where the subject isn't paying attention to the camera. What is better for them to pay attention to than their own parent?

DO let your child be a child. Let them climb a tree (if it's safe) or even stomp in a mud puddle or roll down a hill. If you want your child's true spirit to be captured then you want to let them be themselves as much as possible.  Let the photographer harness that energy to bring you the best images of your child during that time in their life

DO stay relaxed because children feed off the emotions of their parents and if you are stressed they will feel it and reveal that stress in their images.

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Bottom line: trust your photographer to get the best possible images of your child. If you can't trust your photographer then you shouldn't hire them, which brings me to the topic for a future Tiny Tips Tuesday: "How to Choose A Photographer."

For more Tuesday tips:

Five tips for capturing authentic images of your children