Do you scroll through your phone and see a bajillion photos of your children, but none of you with them? That was me up until a couple of years ago. Back then, it would have been easier to spot Bigfoot than find a decent photo of me with my kids. I thought if I was documenting their childhood, then that was sufficient. But, they will want to look back on this time and not only want to remember I was there but also want to see that I was there too! So I decided to make an effort to start documenting myself with them as well. I released my personal feelings and insecurities about how I would look, and I started showing up in front of the camera for them.
Mamas, it is possible to be in photos and not be entirely wrecked by the process. It's also entirely possible to enjoy getting photos taken with your family. With a shift in perspective, the experience can be one you all enjoy and look forward to!
My husband is not a fan of being in photos or taking them (much to my horror!) He is not an "Instagram husband," but he shows up in many other ways, so I'll forgive this minor indiscretion. 😉 Recently though, I've had some success by using the tips mentioned below. If there's hope for my photo-averse partner, there is definitely hope for yours!
Here's my no-stress way to getting the shot fast so that you can move along with the rest of your awesome day and not be exhausted by the process!
1. Family Meeting: This may seem silly and pointless, but having a conversation in advance can go a long way in getting everyone on board. Telling everyone what to expect and how long it will take is super helpful! 5-10 minutes seems to be a sweet spot in terms of cooperation. When I say any more time than that, my hubby's eyes start to get really big! Start small and build from there. Once they see how fun it is, they might stick around for longer.
2. Location and Distractions: Choose a place that provides a spot for you all to be comfortable and cuddly without distractions. Like your bed, the couch or outside on a blanket. Ahem. Don't position yourself next to something they find fun or stimulating, like a park or a screen.
3. Time of Day: Choose your time wisely. When are your kids happiest and most cooperative? Are they hungry? Full bellies and rested kiddos are a great start.
4. Manage Expectations: We can request, but ultimately the level they choose to cooperate is up to them. Approaching it with a whatever happens attitude is an excellent way to lean into the spontaneous nature of your children without getting upset with them. You might have a dream pose in mind, but if they aren't having it, shift gears and try something else. Don't worry about getting collective smiles looking at the camera; focus on each other. The magic comes from your connection; remember that!
5. Movement and Play: Sing songs, dance, be silly! Kids are way more cooperative when it's fun!
6. Take Turns: Older children love to express their ideas. Tell thempawnin advance that they will get a turn after they take the photos you would like. Knowing they could get you to do something silly is a strong motivator. When I did this with my daughter, we ended our session with a pillow fight! And true to being my spawn, she did not hold back! LOL
7. Reward: Increase the motivation by planning a special treat afterwards.
So start dropping these photo wish hints now, ladies and BONUS TIP! If you want to up the chances of cooperation, ask them on Mother's Day because no one says no to Mama on her special day! 😉
Let me know if you try out any of these tips or which one is your favourite!