My kids have PCS (photographer child syndrome). Bad. It’s much harder to get shots of them because they know my tricks. They know the game and many days, they just don’t want to play. I have to be on my toes a lot, and I know many photographers and moms know the feeling. But guess what? PCS, it’s not just for photographers kids, its for their friends too. Tis true. Exhibit A: Lily, Taryn’s BFF. I first photographed her at 18 months old and since then, well, she’s kind of gotten over me and my camera shanigans. My old die hard tricks don’t even crack the surface. And with their family session coming up soon, I wracked my brain thinking of ways to capture her. This was to be a fun, big family session for our dear friends as Jack is at that prime time fave age of 6 months, chubby, happy, (fairly) immobile. 6 month olds rock because they are in that last phase before they can get away from me and separate anxiety hasn’t quite hit yet. I knew I could get Jack, he likes me and loves the camera. But Lil would give me a run for my money. So….thought process….what does Lil love? What makes her laugh? Easy, Taryn. No, not bringing Taryn, that would be bad and distracting. What’s the next best thing?
Enter Flat Taryn.
You’ve heard of Flat Stanley right? Yup, same concept. So I taped a photo of Taryn’s head to a big popsicle stick. Huge hit. Lily loved Flat Taryn, carried her all around. I would hold my camera and shoot with one hand and hold Flat Taryn in the other. I’d hold it so that she was inbetween my face and the camera and then pop her up to peek at Lily, opening up my view through the viewfinder and she’d look and laugh. Sometimes Taryn would “talk” to her or make funny noises. Worked like a charm since when Taryn was raised, I could see through the viewfinder and she was just above the line of my lens and it looks like Lily was looking and smiling right at me….see:
Bwahahaha….got her! And photogs, if you ask what your clients are “into” right now, favorite character, etc., you could easily put elmo, diego, a princess or buzz on a stick! Cheap and easy trick to have in your back pocket!!
Now, a certain chubby, fun loving little 6 month old, he was a bit weirded out by Flat Taryn. He liked my quacking like a duck noises a lot better….
I don’t blame him, I am a pretty good duck if I do say so myself 🙂
Such a great idea! I also run into this issue with my neighbors kids when I photograph them…totally going to try something along these lines for our next session. There are 4 of them between the ages of 5-10 (which also always seems to be a challenge)…we had a ticket hunt on our last session which seemed to keep them entertained.
LOVE it!! Thanks for sharing your tips!!
What a GREAT idea! I’m definitely going to have to try this. My kids never want to look at me and my niece hates to crack a smile for anyone other than Elmo. Thanks for sharing.
love it, awesome idea!
Love the tip, great idea!!
Thanks for the tip! I can totally see this working for my kids and a few of my regular clients. Even a flat silly face from one of the grandparents would work on my kids!
I’m a photographer too and that is such a huge and great hint/trick! thanks for sharing! anytime you want to share any other tricks, as simple as you think they may be, I would LOVE and APPRECIATE any of them.
I always ask my little ones i photograph to find the monkey in the camera and smile for him and maybe he’ll come out. dunno, but it works most of the time. i even have repeat clients ask if my monkey is there. ha.
Thank you so so much for sharing!
I will be trying it out!
That’s a great idea!!
that is brilliant! will have to remember that tip!