My clients are always a little worried about their kids’ behaviour while being photographed. I always tell them:
1. It’s COMPLETELY NORMAL for kids to become wild, crazy and maybe a bit unhinged and to not cooperate for a while. Completely normal. And…
2. There is nothing your kids can do that I haven’t seen before. Really. I have four sons, I photograph kids. There is not a thing your kid can do that’s going to surprise me.
Case in point, I’d like to share some photos. I’d like to preface this by saying that my own children didn’t have to dress in clothes I chose for them, leave the house at an odd time or drive in the car with parents stressed by having their picture taken like your kids do the day of their shoot. No, my kids were on a meandering, fun hike when I asked them to run over near some flowers so I could take their picture. Stress level: zero.
And yet two flat-out refused to go. So all right. I got some great pictures of Simon (11) and Quinn (8).
Awwwwwww. Aren’t they sweet!?
And then Kieran (6) decides he’s changed his mind and wants in the picture too:
…and we take some cute 3-kid pictures:
During this, off scene left, Beckett (age 4) is losing it. He wants in the picture but he’s mad that he wasn’t there FIRST. He wants everyone else to leave so he isn’t missing out. He wants to go but he’s afraid of snakes. Lots of crying and screaming ensues.
So I put my camera down, pick Beckett up and carry him over to his brothers. But it’s a rare four-year old who changes gears that fast so he stands there and pouts and cries rather than hug his brothers. I think this is funny, so I take pictures:
Don’t you feel so sad for Beckett!? I know he does!
So I shout “HUG BOMB! Everyone hug bomb Beckett!”
Which is a tried and true method of banishing bad moods in our house. It usually works. Simon and Quinn have been the recipients of many happy hug bombs themselves so they gleefully go to hug Beckett.
And heeeeere’s the moment when Beckett puts his face up to bite Quinn:
You can see it register on Quinn’s face here. He’s like “Uhhhhh, this might be funny, but this might really hurt. Mom??”
It hurts. Quinn reacts.
Quinn’s face here is the best. This is the “my brother just BIT me!” face.
I think Quinn is saying an actual swear word – out loud – here.
Checking out the damage.
And now Simon is laughing – not because he’s mean but because Beckett hit Simon in the face with the iPad that very morning and so Simon GETS what a little stinker Beckett is so he is laughing in solidarity. Beckett meanwhile is wiping BROTHER GERMS off his mouth in victory and disgust.
And now it’s officially funny. Even to Beckett.
I love this moment when Simon and Quinn are looking at each other and laughing. <3
And now that it’s funny again, the hug bomb recommences.
The hug bomb is not having the desired effect yet. Beckett is still MAD!
So Kieran runs in to help. You can just see Beckett’s shout of rage while he tries hard not to laugh!
And with the anger of a thousand pissed off four-year olds Beckett shoves Kieran in the throat! You can see Kieran’s face go from sheer joy above to complete betrayal below.
We’re about to have two kids in tears!
Kieran is a joyful fellow so he just tries to hug bomb from the other side. Beckett shoots out his ninja stealth arm and get Kie unawares.
The teeth are out again!
Now ALL FOUR KIDS are laughing!
Okay. Maybe Beckett isn’t totally there yet….
BUT HERE IT IS!!! Hug Bomb achieved!!!!
It deserves a black and white as well – ALL FOUR OF MY KIDS LAUGHING IN ONE PICTURE!!!
And then the moment passes….and Beckett goes in for the bite again. First we’ll get Simon….
And then Quinn….
aaaaaaaand then Kieran……
Which is why I have so many pictures of my kids from the back.
And why, really, truly, everything YOUR kid does at your photo session is normal, acceptable and even lovable. Kids are like this. It’s even funny when you can let go and let them work it out! Yes, we like to think that pictures of all of our kids cooperating make for beautiful pictures….but the pictures above are of *my kids* and my kids ARE beautiful art to me.
Even when they bite.