Step Three: Guide Your Client
Guide your client. Make families feel at ease okay? So when you come in, what's the first thing you're gonna do? Smile, right? Whenever I walk in and was like, "Hey what's up?" That's not gonna put families at ease, okay? I go in and I smile like, "Hey how are you?" And I'm a hugger so I hug them and they're like oh she's hugging me! (audience laughs) So and it kind of it kind of relaxes everybody. You don't have to hug if you're not a hugger, but you know kinda touching an arm and be like, "Hey oh my gosh you look amazing, the baby's so cute, how are you this put together", even if she's not - just like make them feel really good okay? 'Cause that's gonna put everybody at ease okay? When you get there, let them know your plan again, what you're gonna do and say, "Hey what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna", you know, pretend there's a little Johnny right there, be like, "Hey Johnny you wanna take me around your house? Can you show me your room?" And I'm gonna say, "Hey, I'm gonna go check out...
the light but I'm gonna have Johnny give me a tour", because then what happens is the two year old has now warmed up to you okay? You're not there as a threat, you're there as a friend okay? And that's what you want to enter the house as, as a friend, okay? So you walk in, you kind of you know talk about the loose schedule that you guys have talked about six times because you're overly prepared now right? You talk about the don't look at me until I tell you to, you know and all of those things okay? So gently direct them by, we're gonna gently direct families while we're doing you know, any kind of set up without telling them exactly what to do. So you're gonna kinda put them into a position and you're gonna say, "Okay, tell mum something that you don't want anybody else to hear", and then she'll laugh, or give mum a kiss on the neck and she'll start giggling, okay? You give them little cues on what to do where everybody look at the baby - you know those kind of things? But you're not forcing the interaction, it just kind of organically happens okay? And it's hard for people to pose families I think. This was a random bedroom. This was their guest bedroom but it had really good light, and mum was down there laying with the baby, and I told dad I'm like, "Hey, go and lay behind mum and go snuggle." And then we had like a whole series of photos that just happened. I didn't tell them what to do. I just told dad to go snuggle mum okay? Babies don't interact back so I find myself directing you know, more during my newborn sessions, so if you have a situation where you don't have siblings, you're really gonna have to guide the parents to create connection. I never ever have family photos where their hands aren't doing something okay? So did you notice where his hand is? That was not there, okay, it was down on the bed. But do you see how we created the connection? When you have a sibling involved, connection just kind of organically happens easier right? But since this the newborn can't engage back and can't do anything back, you need to make sure that you get engagement throughout using the dad and the mum, okay? Helping the family relax. They are more nervous than you are! Okay, number one, know everybody's names! And I am the worst. I know them but it's still faster to say, "Hey mum go to dad, hey dad, hug mum", you know? If you can, do your best to know everybody's name. Know the siblings names, and the dad's name, know mum's name okay? Then they're gonna have you connect better that way. Let them know that you're in control and if you don't feel like you're in control, act like it - just pretend that you know what you're doing, and they will completely think that you're in control. You know with that picture at the very beginning of the class with the dog and the baby, right? My very first lifestyle session, I totally pretended I knew what I was doing and it was the best shoot ever because they were relaxed okay? Right. Take siblings by hand to show you their room when you arrive - that just I think my biggest back of my pocket trick for getting the kids to interact with me. Arrive happy and have a schedule. You know we all have bad days. I'm not always happy, I mean 90% of the time, but the other 10% when I'm not and tends to be when I have a session, and you just have to go and you just kinda have to just be happy okay? Because if you're not then your session's not gonna go well.