Imagine your biggest fear coming true: you’re with a family during their 15-minute mini-session and…the kid WON’T STOP CRYING!!
First of all, this doesn’t happen very often. It’s happened to me twice out of about 400 families! So don’t think this is super common.
But it does happen. The good news is, you don’t have to panic! There are a few things you can do if a kid is inconsolable during a session to still get a few good, usable shots.
First, remember that it’s out of your control. The parents know that. They won’t be upset with you that their kid is having a meltdown right at that moment.
So before you start panicking, take a deep breath. Take a little bit of time to encourage the parents. I’m sure it’s frustrating for them, so just reassure them that things like this happen and it’s ok.
I like to remind them that this is just the season of life that they’re in, and these memories deserve to be captured as well. Keep smiling, and then keep moving forward.
The first thing I do is I have one of the parents hold the kid so their face is facing away from me. You can’t really tell they are crying unless you can see their face, so hide it as much as you can! I’ll have the parents hug them, snuggle them, and then look at me and smile. If it’s a baby or smaller toddler, they can “airplane” them in the air with their face away from me and it looks like a normal fun moment!
Get creative here and snap as many shots as you can. The more you have to work with, the better.
Once you get your strategic shots, be sure to snap a few photos with the kid’s face towards the camera. Yes they’ll be ugly crying. Yes it will be loud and crazy. But those memories are just that. They’re memories of that season of life.
I’ll get shots of everyone smiling (except for the crier of course), and then just for kicks I’ll have everyone pretend to cry with the kid. Whatever helps to lighten the mood!
The most important thing to remember is that YOU set the tone for the session. If you’re calm, the parents will be calm too. You can stress afterwards as you cull through the photos, but during the session just do what you can.
Out of the 2 kids who I had cry the entire time, both did AMAZING the next time we had a session together! It was fun to reminisce with the parents and praise how far the kid has come. It all worked out in the end!!
Be sure to check out my free class, “How to Market, Monetize, & Grow Your Photography Business with Mini-Sessions!”
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