As parents, we observe every change in our children both physically and emotionally and attempt to preserve these memories as best as possible through visual heirlooms portraits. Photographing children is an art and requires a person that works well with children and can make the experience fun for your little one.
Your first and most important step is to evaluate what you want from your portrait. While some parents want a more artistic personality shot, others may be looking for a more formal presentation. Your BabyZone local guide has compiled a collection of the very best children's photographers in your area so once you determine what you want, peruse photographer's portfolios for a style that matches your taste. After you've found someone of interest, you may want to find out how long he has worked in the area as well as his rates. Most photographers charge a sitting fee to cover time, film and processing. Make sure you know what costs are included before your photo shoot.
Some photographers include a pre-determined package of photos in the sitting fees while others do not. Be sure to ask what happens if you don't like any of the pictures from the sitting? Is another sitting included or must you pay another sitting fee? What are the fees for additional photos and enlargements, or is a fixed, pre-priced package available? How long are negatives kept? Are the proofs yours to keep after enlargements are made?
Once your photographer is chosen, book the appointment for the child's best time of day. Usually an hour or two after naptime is safe, but make sure it's not right before a meal. Take the child's clothes with you and change the child there. Keep it simple; clothing and accessories should be comfortable.
Prepare your child in advance for what will happen. Explain where you will go and what will be expected of him in the most fun way you can. "We're going to have such a good time getting your picture taken today!"
Arrive on time but be flexible once you're at the studio. If the first idea or pose doesn't work, be open to change.
Remember that the photographer is the artist and is in charge of the shoot. The photographer may ask for your help and want your input and participation, but overall the best results will come if you let the professional run the show.