I have no idea how to stand?!
"Jennifer, we have no idea how to stand for pictures?!"
100% of my sessions start with the parents telling me, you're going to have to tell us what to do because we have no idea. If I'm real, I EVEN DO THIS. Every photographer I've had take my pictures I say, "I take pictures for a living but I have no idea how to stand" I feel like Ricky Bobby "What do I do with my hands?". Seriously though, taking pictures is kind of awkward, unless you're a model but even then I'm sure it's weird. My job as a photographer is to get a vibe of the type of family that you are. Do you all like dancing? Ok everyone let's all do a little dance to shake things up! This will get everyone comfortable and less weird. If you're not comfortable for pictures, your pictures will look like you're not comfortable, makes sense right? Sure it does. I remember a session where I told the kiddos to be silly and make silly faces and the dad said "We don't do that, we aren't that type of family, kids don't make a silly face" Whoops, remove foot from mouth. Let's find a new way to give me genuine smiles that works for you all!
Not everyone is as goofy as me and sometimes I have to remind myself of this. This is where my "posing" comes in. I'll tell mom, dad and kids to all gather together and give each other a warm hug, ok now everyone look at mom. Mom almost always says this is weird, then laughs. BAM! GOT IT! ok now look at dad! These are the moments that we take for granted. The moment of pure joy in the eyes of a kid looking at their parent. My goal as a photographer is to snap that second and freeze it forever. That way when you tuck your kids in at night and tell them you hope they have a better day tomorrow and they tell you, "I won't because you're annoying" you remember that pictures Jennifer took that reminded you that you are loved by your kids no matter how they show it. Disclaimer I am speaking from personal experience from a recent encounter with my pre-teen daughter who loves to remind me how embarrassing I am. Your welcome child, I'm not changing.