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Top 10 Tips for Engaging Children in Photo Shoots | Atlanta Photographer

Probably one of the most frequent questions I am asked by moms/clients is “how do I engage my children in our portraits?” Truth be told, as a mother of two children ages 9 and 6, I too have struggled with this, especially as they were getting older, until I simply treated my sessions with my kids as I did with my clients. Brilliant! It was my “Ah Ha” moment and has helped me in engaging my children in photo shoots of my own creation.

Engaging children in family sessions can be fun, and you will often find that you create wonderful memories bonding with your children in the process – be it in a family session with a professional photographer, or one of your one photo shoots.

Here are my Top 10 tips for Engaging Children:

# 1: Be Easy-Going – Never Show Frustration. Once they pick up on your stress or displeasure, their wall goes up and out comes the stubborn child – and stubborn is tough to get rid of once it comes out. At the beginning of each of my sessions I tell my parents I’ve got this – let me handle the kids – don’t worry about them “smiling at the camera” or doing something you don’t want them to do. Trust me. I’m a mom and I’m a photographer. A light and playful vibe will shine through in your pictures.

Top Ways to Engage Children in Portraits | Tamara Gonzalez Photography

#2. Go with What They Love. It really is ok if the kids aren’t into an activity or direction. If they don’t feel like sitting at that moment, and would rather dance, I go with them and redirect later. Going with the flow, but guiding, is the best way for kids.

#3. Be Playful! It’s a great way to get some awesome action shots and it’s authentic.

#4. They Are the Photographer. This is one of my favorite go-tos on a shoot with a child that isn’t too enthralled at first. Once I show them the back of camera and ask them what they would want to photograph, they often get really into the shoot. (The second image is a behind the scenes at one of my school shoots – I always enlist help:).

#5. Tickling. This brings out the fun almost every time.

#6. Tell a Joke/Whisper Something Funny. This is especially fun with siblings. Oh how they giggle! And it’s amazing how you hear the same jokes…

#7. Ask Them Their Favorite Hobby, Let them Show You. Maybe it’s karate, maybe it’s ballet, either way, kids love to show off and perform their latest skills.

#8. Give them Rewards. Yup, bribery works. But I encourage the reward be a family activity like getting ice cream together after taking pictures. Sometimes, with my oldest I literally pay him for his time – sometimes it’s a $1 for a short amount of time, sometimes it’s a cool new book. He’s 9 years old and his time is valuable. Either way it’s a win-win: he’s happy and I get my shot. Ice cream still works for my 6 year old 🙂

#9. Move, Jump, Twirl and Spin. This is most engaging when you do these with them.

#10. Give Them a Break. During sessions, sometimes one or the other, or all, want to run off for a moment. I let them and say, “hey, go ahead, we’ll be right here taking your parent’s pictures.” Once they see me taking pictures of their parents without them, they usually come running right back.

Are you ready to book your family session? I’d love to talk to you about customizing your own session! I offer outdoor and studio lifestyle sessions and love capturing families, children, babies and expecting mamas.

Xoxo,

Tamara

 

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Best of Atlanta Fall Family Sessions 2018 | Tamara Gonzalez Photography

The best of Atlanta fall family sessions.

Fall sessions are some of my favorite. I love the colors and the crisp air. There’s an energy about the sessions that just shows on faces. The Atlanta fall family sessions this year were simply wonderful. I met some wonderful new clients, and captured many other families again. My family sessions are all about capturing your family as you are – I am always guiding you into poses and we communicate before your shoot on wardrobe and anything I need to know before your session. These portraits are about you and the connection you share with your family.

Here is a brief recap of some of my favorite fall family sessions held across Atlanta.

Xoxo,

Tamara

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Christmas Tree Farm 2018 | Tamara Gonzalez Photography

This was my second year hosting these special mini sessions at the Christmas Tree Farm. Christmas tree farm family sessions are so much, and the perfect way to end the season and get into the holiday spirit after the regular fall family season. This year I held them at Thompson’s Tree Farm and loved it. The farm was beautiful and they provided the cutest vintage truck that was perfect for cuddling and getting into the Christmas spirit.

Atlanta Christmas Family Sessions | Tamara Gonzalez PhotographyAtlanta Christmas Family Sessions | Tamara Gonzalez Photography

Atlanta Christmas Family Sessions | Tamara Gonzalez PhotographyAtlanta Christmas Family Sessions | Tamara Gonzalez PhotographyAtlanta Christmas Family Sessions | Tamara Gonzalez PhotographyAtlanta Christmas Family Sessions | Tamara Gonzalez PhotographyAtlanta Christmas Family Sessions | Tamara Gonzalez PhotographyAtlanta Christmas Family Sessions | Tamara Gonzalez PhotographyAtlanta Christmas Family Sessions | Tamara Gonzalez PhotographyAtlanta Christmas Family Sessions | Tamara Gonzalez PhotographyAtlanta Christmas Family Sessions | Tamara Gonzalez PhotographyAtlanta Christmas Family Sessions | Tamara Gonzalez PhotographyAtlanta Christmas Family Sessions | Tamara Gonzalez Photography

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Family Newborn Session in Atlanta | Tamara Gonzalez Photography

A lifestyle newborn session is the perfect way to capture your growing family. This sweet family welcomed their third baby into their home and did it with grace.

I captured her maternity session a couple of months before and witnessed the anticipation of both the parents and their oldest daughter (their youngest one wasn’t quite fully aware of what was to come but was full of joy 🙂

Mom chose to do a Petite Maternity session with me – I offer this product as an add-on for clients who book a newborn session with me. The Petite Maternity session add-on includes all the images from your maternity session, plus a luxury photo album that contains images from both your maternity and newborn sessions. It’s a gorgeous album.

I love lifestyle newborn sessions as they are an honest and beautiful way to capture such an important moment in a family’s life. This is why I prefer to document this time in my client’s home whenever possible – because being in your home is the memory you will hold in your mind…even better, with lifestyle photography, the time is documented to hold on to forever.

Xoxo,

Tamara

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First Family Photo Session | Tamara Gonzalez Photography

For the first fall day here in Atlanta, this family asked me to do their very first family portrait. I just can’t get over how much I loved meeting and capturing them. You can just feel the warmth and happiness from these three, and their little man is such a darling. One of my jobs after taking a family’s pictures is to go through hundreds of images, in this case almost 700 because I was so snap happy 🙂 and narrow it down to the best. Oh this was SO hard for this session! Each image was just gorgeous (I mean look at this family) and really felt like you can feel that connection in each image. I love the experience of family sessions. The biggest difference between a full family session like this and mini sessions is having more of that quality time to connect, especially with little ones who simply need more time to get to know me, the person with the camera 🙂 and to get comfortable with their surroundings. The main reason I hear families lean toward mini sessions is they think their little ones can’t handle 45 minutes to an hour. And I totally understand, after all I have two kids myself! But having more time for a customized session really makes a difference. I hope you enjoy this session. Thank you so much for having me capture your family! I can’t wait to share all your images with you!

Xoxo, Tamara

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I'm Tamara. Thank you for visiting! I am a lifestyle photographer of families, children, babies, maternity and couples. I'd love to talk to you about capturing your portraits.

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