I was that child. I wasn't naturally drawn to other people. I hid behind my mom when someone new approached. Even now, as an adult, it takes me several meetings with someone to get truly comfortable. As a child, I saw this as "oh, there's something wrong with me." I was so perceptive and hearing the tone that people used when saying the word "Shy" made me cringe. I've learned over the years that I am an introvert, and that is more than ok.
I have seen concern on the faces of parents when their child clams up at a session. It can be stressful for everyone. But it doesn't have to be! For those kids I've worked with who are shy, or cautious of new people I give them time to warm up to me. I talk to them like they're an adult. I ask them questions. "What grade are you in? What's your favorite subject in school? What's your favorite song? Show?" I love having an activity style session so they don't feel like the center of attention. For example, a session at a playground, the zoo, a children's museum or an aquarium. Doing this allows a child to interact more naturally with their family and they aren't as focused on the fact that there's a camera pointed at them.
I have worked with many shy children over the past 5 years I've been in business. With all of them, I have seen them warm up tremendously over the course of one session.
This is why I'm adding in a pre-session meeting for Family Photo Sessions. I do this already with weddings, but I think it will be a game changer for my sessions with children. This will allow me to meet all family members that will be participating in the session. I can get to know you and learn what concerns you have about how the session will go. The KEY to this meeting is to allow your child to meet me in advance and become more comfortable. Once the day of the session comes, their fear will be much lessened knowing the person that will be taking their photo is someone they've met.
I want you and your family to have an incredible experience, and I want to take away any worries you may have about family portraits. I'm here for the entire process, not just showing up to take the photos. Beautiful, natural smiles are possible with any child. It just takes planning and patience!