It is not easy to photograph your own child - believe me! There is a reason for something called "photographers child syndrome" and it manifests itself in crying, reluctance to look towards the camera, terrible expressions and running away! You need to have a lot of patience, much, much more than through normal photo shoots with other children! But if I could do it, you can too!
There are some pictures from cake smash photo shoot with my younger son Emil, which I decided to do for his 1st birthday. I thought it's going to be a nightmare, as he is very active baby, very curious, very smart, but also very, very bossy.
When I try to make him some nice pictures he usually running away or try to get my camera and click on any buttons he can reach! But I get this results and I'll tell you how I did it :)
1. New place
Make sure that the session space is not available to him while preparing the set up. If he sees you doing decorations, crawls into bowls and touches the balloons, you can be sure that by the time everything is ready, your child will be bored and will not want to spend even a moment in your studio.
2. New stuff
Try to get something completely new for your child to take part in the session. It can be props, cake, decorations - something that he has not seen yet, hasn't had the opportunity to touch and which he will definitely be interested in. You can show him that the bowl is fun to enter, the cake can be smashed and the balloons are great for tossing - it will definitely give you a few moments to take pictures and get a little smile!
You must have an assistant! It can be your partner, grandmother, or older siblings, but someone has to pick up the fleeing child and place them back in the background. Remember that the assistant is not a good person to get child attention and make him laugh if you don't want your child looking sideways in all the photos (I unfortunately made this mistake)
4. Loud toys
Prepare some loud, clattering and playing toys that your child doesn't know yet (or hide them for a few days before the session so that they can be forgotten) and use to get their attention. You'll get at least a few glances right at the camera :)
5. Strange noises
Prepare yourself some surprising, strange noises you can make that your child has not heard before - the element of surprise is always in price :)
6. Stay calm
Be patient - unfortunately, nerves, screams and our despair will not help, so if the child totally doesn't want to cooperate, let's take a break - read the books, play with him for a while in another room, let's eat something good. This is our studio, so we have unlimited time for a session and we can use it :)
Hope you like my tips and tricks which help me to photograph my own children - and what's your experience in this? Do you like or hate to do photos of your own kids? Please share your thoughts in comments:)