Motherhood photo shoots are 100% my absolute favorites.  The obvious reason being that I am a mama myself, so I know exactly the worth these type of images hold for a mother. These portrait sessions also elicit some of the most beautiful and genuine moments I have ever seen that translate to printed images amazingly!!! The bond between a mother and a baby or toddler is like no other anyone has experienced, making them one of the most critical periods to capture in motherhood.

These images are incredibly valuable and priceless to us moms, but we have to remember we are taking them for selfish reasons (THAT’S OK!). Unfortunately, this means that the kiddos aren’t committed to holding still, looking at the camera or smiling perfectly for a couple hours.   So the best thing to do is to put a little mommy and me session prep into action so that it goes as smoothly as possible and with as few tears as possible. To help ensure your session includes the exact images you dreamed of, I’ve put together a little survival guide that will help make the experience pain free and actually fun!

Motherhood Photo Shoot Survival Guide

  • Bribery: First and foremost, throw all those mommy rules you live by out the window! On the day of your photo session have the bribery on standby. And I mean bribery in the form of goodies like Goldfish, M&M’s, Cheerios, whatever it takes. You want to keep the little ones content and melt down free. Sometimes a little snack is the perfect way make sure they are flashing those beautiful smiles.
  • Bring Backup:  Just because this is a special mommy and me session doesn’t mean you don’t need all hands on deck.  Whether it is daddy, grandma, or your best friend, bring backup! Someone to let me in on the little secrets to get the genuine smiles for pictures is always a plus!  It is also helpful to have a second set of hands helping you out with the keeping the kids happy and cooperative, especially when you are a mama of more than one!  This will not only help with making sure the kids look fabulous in your images, but will also ensure you do too! No reason for you to get stressed or overworked; this photo shoot is for you after all. 😉
  • Feed the Tiny Mouths: We need those bellies full for your portrait session. Blood sugar crashes are the worst in the middle of a shoot, and totally avoidable.  In between doing hair and getting them dressed for the shoot feed them a protein packed dinner so they stay full during the entire session. Now this is easier said than done, I know.  So pack snacks in case your daughter and/or son decides they are ready for dinner right in the middle of taking pictures. You know it is going to happen. 😀
  • Late Naps Aren’t the Enemy:  I know when my child nods off around 3 pm my soul begins to cry a little because I know he will be up way past bedtime.  Photo shoot day is the ONE day that you should rejoice when your child takes a late nap. In order to capture the amazing light of sunset you will find yourself in front of the camera when you and your child are used to winding down for the day.  Photo shoots can catch kids at their tiredest, meaning that late nap just became your best friend.  So for one day embrace it and get those kiddos to close their eyes before tackling your photo session.
  • Bring a Toy:  Sometimes distraction is our best friend and theirs too. Bring a toy or two to help out during the inevitable melt down.  I also like to use toys to help get and maintain connection with the babies and toddlers, and this certainly comes through in the final products.
  • Layer Clothing:  We all know a cold or hot baby is an unhappy baby.  Make sure you check out the weather the day of your mommy and me session just in the off chance things have changed. We also take pictures at the end of the day when the sun is setting, meaning the temperature does drop, sometimes drastically.  Yep, even in Charlotte we experience this. Add a little blanket or jacket to your survival kit as a “just in case,” and definitely make sure it fits with your outfit color scheme.
  • Be Silly:  It is so easy and typical to be serious and even uncomfortable in front of the camera.  Remember, you want these images to reflect how you really interact with your kids.  Adding in a little silly not only helps make photos genuine, but also aids in keeping the kids happy throughout the shoot. Motherhood shoots typically last two hours, and neither mom or kids want to sit around serious for that long!
  • Embrace the Unexpected: This one is all mental preparation and probably the most important part of your survival kit! When kids are involved we mamas know that things rarely go as planned.  Try to be flexible and forgiving during your portrait session.  Another “easier said that done,” but know I have my own little monsters, I mean kiddos,  and never expect your kids to be perfect while in front of the camera.  NEVER feel embarrassed or uneasy because of any crazy thing your kids do because, trust me, I’ve been there!!! Also, I’m here to help! I will make this process as easy and entertaining as possible, and acting on and embracing the unexpected can actually illicit the most genuine and joyful smiles during mommy and me shoots.

Mommy and Me Photo Session

Keeping these guidelines in mind before and during your photo shoot will seriously guarantee you make it through stress free and provide you with those genuine images you are after.  I’m here to help you capture and commemorate the most important journey of your life.  I want the process and the end result to be something that you will cherish for a lifetime.

If you have any questions at all about a Motherhood Session just jump over to the contact tab and ask away.  I am truly here for one reason – to ensure those priceless, fleeting memories are captured and endure a lifetime of moments.  This includes before, during and after your portrait session.