Don't be afraid to get involved in the portrait-taking process, says Joseph Korona, a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, photographer who's had his own studio since 1982. "Talk to your photographer about the child's interests and bring props from home," suggests Korona. (A well-loved item from home can help children feel safe in an unfamiliar studio setting.)
"I can't take credit for all the portraits I've taken that have been fantastic," adds Theis. "It's a team effort. I work with the parents to get what it is that they want in the portrait."
If you'd like to try a different pose or elicit a certain expression, just ask. Horton agrees with Theis that parents should brainstorm for ideas with the photographer. "My goal is to give people what they really want, not what I think they want," Horton says. As the customer and one who will hang the portrait in your home for years to come, you have the right to be involved in the shot. "If you don't like something, just say so," advises Korona.