Moms and dads of babies and toddlers…this is my loving public service announcement is for you.
There’s something you should know about your little one’s photo session. They might not want to do it. In fact, they may have significantly strong opinions about their interest in having their photos taken. They may not want someone they don’t know pointing a big camera at them, or having someone with their big camera follow them around. They may not find their photographer’s funny noises or faces or silly antics all that interesting. They may actually want him or her to leave, and they won’t hold back in their insistence of it.
Here’s something else that’s important for you to know: It’s okay. If your photographer is experienced and knows anything about kids, they’re going to know that photoshoots of little ones between the ages of 1 and usually 4 should be called crapshoots instead, because you never know what’s going to happen at them or how it’s going to go. If your little one has a melt down, it’s not going to make your photographer mad. It’s not even going to be shocking. Because it’s something that happens all the time, and we get it, and we don’t blame anyone for it.
This sweet little pumpkin, who just turned one, wanted nothing to do with me when I got my big camera out on the day we scheduled the session. I did her newborn session, but she hadn’t seen me since (so I’m pretty sure she didn’t remember me!) She was tired because she woke up early, and she was teething, and though she was happy to greet me at the front door, she quickly decided the last thing she wanted was for me to take her photo. And I know her mama felt terrible about it, and I could see how much it pained her, but here’s the thing. I have two daughters. I’ve carried my kids off of playgrounds, away from playdates, out of people’s homes, out of stores and out of church while they were kicking and screaming and hysterically melting down because they were tired or crabby or just being developmentally appropriate little people. Been there, done that, probably cried over it a number of times and lived to tell the story. And so, after it became clear that our session wasn’t going to work, I suggested we try another day. Because sometimes you just need a do-over, and that’s okay. We all need do-overs sometimes, right? Why not take advantage of them when you can? And you know what? The next time we tried it was better. And we got some lovely shots that will commemorate her first birthday and a jolly good story to go with it. And someday when this little one is all grown and she is looking back on all her photos from over the years, her mama will have a hilarious story to tell her about how it took two sessions to get that one photo.
Deep breaths, parents. Deep breaths. It’s all good.