I wanted to take a few minutes to discuss the importance of the pre-session warm up. This is the photographer-child interaction time that occurs before the session begins.
For photo shoots outside of the client's home, I always suggest that clients show up about 15 minutes prior to the start of the session so that we have this time to get to know each other. For photo shoots at the client's home, I like to arrive at least 15-20 minutes before the session begins. Especially with young children, it’s going to be a little scary interacting with someone they’ve just met. I want to ensure I can really show off your child’s personality, and we want him or her to be comfortable with me and/or with the environment.
If we were to just throw them into the middle of the session and there’s this stranger with a camera jumping around trying to get them to look and smile, your child is going to tense up and there may even be confusion. We really just want everything to run smoothly.
For outdoor sessions, if clients can arrive early, this will give me time to introduce myself to your child and to try to get a vibe on how the session will go. Some children warm up right away, while others need the entire warm up time to feel comfortable and come out of their shell - and that’s okay!
After I introduce myself, I will try to get to know your child. Just to break the ice, I’ll ask questions about what they like, what they don’t like, sing songs, and maybe play a game, etc. By the time the session starts, your child is happy and more familiar with me. Making sure you’re there early enough to have this time is probably one of the most important tips I can give you for your family session.
Once we’ve done a session and your child realizes that I’m not scary and we have fun together, the next session shouldn’t need much warm up time at all, if any. But for the very first session together, the pre-session warm up is a must!
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of photographing the Mihlik family at their home in Scottsdale. This was my second time photographing the Mihlik family, except this time there is the addition of baby Katelin, who was less than two weeks old during the session. I met her brother Jack during the first session and although he was shy then, he eventually warmed up to me. The second time around, he wasn't shy at all because he remembered me - we sang songs together and was my little assistant! I loved spending time with them and am honored to have captured shots of them as a complete family. I even got some shots of grandma with the kids!
Enjoy some of the photos from their session below!