From the moment I saw the tent at Hobby Lobby I knew I wanted it! I pulled up my trusty 40% off coupon and headed for checkout with dreams of an adorable photo session with my boys. This was going to be so much fun, we could pretend they were camping and they could read books in the tent! In my head I had it all planned out, they would be dressed cute but cool like those kids in the Gap ads. They would be so excited to sit in the teepee and read books in there. They would smile like angels for mommy and look like perfect children.
Here is where I wish I could insert the record screech sound because you know that isn’t even close to what actually happened! I wanted to share this behind the scenes story with you so that you know its not just your kids that lose it at photo sessions. That’s right it might look all sunshine and rainbows in the final photos but it was instead a hour of tears, tantrums, bribes and accepting that I would have to live with bold red sippy cups in my photos.
Let me start from the beginning. I had planned everything days before, I watched how the sunlight hit our front yard during the late afternoon to find the best spot with good light. I went out and measured the light to be sure I had enough at the right time of day. So the day came and I put the kids down for a nap because we all know they usually are better after a nap! I took the tent outside and set it up in the woods on a fairly level spot that gave me plenty of room to work with. I ran around the house and grabbed some cute props to add to the mix. Then when naptime was over I gleefully ran upstairs to tell the boys about all the fun we were going to have!
Again another record screech moment!! It started with tears of not liking the clothes I picked out for them. I resorted to M&M bribes to get them changed into their clothes. Then I told them about the teepee and we endured another meltdown over my daring to take their teepee outside and put it in the woods! It doesn’t belong there I was told. Insert more M&Ms.
We head outside and I grab my camera bags, I wanted this to be a practice session so I was shooting 2 different film cameras and then backup on digital because I realized I better get something good from this session! Why yes I made this situation much more painful for me by trying something new, lol! We get to the tent and now they are thirsty. I run back to the house to get sippy cups and coming back out my 2 year old is headed to the garage to play with his toys. Hand him his cup and redirect back to the tent. I get them inside the tent and after 3 photos they are bored. This time I pulled out the big guns on bribes and told them I’d make them a bowl of popcorn but they had to eat it in the tent. Run back across lawn and make popcorn. Run back to tent before I lose them again to something more fun. At this point I start regretting purchasing a house with a football field sized front yard!
Get everyone settled back down eating popcorn and start shooting! Popcorn starts wearing off so I throw M&Ms in the bowl with the popcorn and reengage them for another 2-3 min. Now they really are done and want to leave but I manage to threaten them to get another few minutes out of them. Finally we all throw in the towel realizing this is as good as it will get!
Actual shooting time was probably 15min and bribing, temper tantrums, random crying time was 45min. So the next time your kids melt down at a photo session just know that even photographers kids do it so don’t sweat it. Oh and do not be afraid to offer bribes, no one will judge you I promise! In fact if you bribe you kid at a session with me I’ll probably give you a hug and tell you been there done that!
Now that I’ve worked out the kinks with my own kids I’m offering Fredericksburg Va Teepee Mini Sessions at my outdoor studio! Click here to learn more!
This photo right here was worth everything! It is now a 24×36″ canvas that hangs above my desk and I love it! Their heads together is just perfection and something they do on their own :).