Carissa Marsh Photography

Location shoots and the “busy child”

By Carissa, November 1, 2016

Kids attention spans vary depending on their age and temperament. A short photo session or mini session is the perfect amount of time for the busy child. I can get a range of photos in a 20-40 minute session with the least amount of pain! The key is variety, lots of running and playing and making posed shots short, sweet, or what I call the fun – run and done session! Photos don’t have to be painful for parents or their children. Gone are the days of sitting in the same boring pose for endless minutes that feel like hours. With the right session and the right attitude your photo shoot can actually be FUN….! Who would have thought – Photo shoot and fun all in the same sentence!!!


I wouldn’t say I’ve mastered the act, but I’ve got pretty darn good at making my photo sessions interesting. There is the occasional challenge to keep me fresh, but that’s kids, they aren’t perfect and some kids will find a shoot more challenging than others. At the end of the day if you get a handful of stunning photos and lots of laughing, giggling ones, its memories that you can love and cherish for a very long time! Your lifetime, their lifetime and if you’re really careful with your photos your kids, kids lifetime!


As a parent of two teenage girls, I wish that I had taken the time to get more professional portraits taken. I say this to my clients all the time. The couple of shoots that I have, aren’t nearly enough when I look back on how much they have changed in the last 18 & 16 years. It really is like WOOOOWWWWWWW where did those years go!!! The scariest thing is that the years just keep speeding up. Time needs to slow DOWN!

The “Giant” squeeze is a fun way to get some laughs while distracting the little ones as I take their photo. I use it to break up a shoot so that when I do the posed shots the kids are more open and easier to negotiate with.  A stern parent, in this situation, isn’t going to help get great SMILES so lots of variety keeps the moment fresh. The adult and teenage version of the giant squeeze is just as much fun (and even more emotive) and once again helps to lighten the moment. Most people, for various reasons, don’t like getting their photo taken, Me included!! BUT a giant cuddle is bound to get a fabulous natural smile…And sometimes a lions kiss gets thrown in for good measure, the facial expressions are priceless!


Now I have gone off topic…back to the location part of this blog! If your child is busy (and for the stubborn ones!!! and that is not a criticism, we come in all shapes, sizes and personalities) a studio shoot isn’t going to bring out the best in any of us!  A confined space just isn’t going to work. Some kids, for what ever reason (generally it’s the 3 year olds lol) can’t be negotiated with. Its times like this when posed shots go out the door and my focus changes to PLAY. To me, these moments are just as important, and even more fun to look at than the traditional posed shot.

Kerikeri and surrounds are filled with beautiful locations. The options are endless, from beaches, to parks to native forests filled with Kauri trees or a farm. I think its important to choose a location that is not only beautiful, but because it means something to you. This gives a photo the double wammie effect, when you see the photos presented, printed and framed or on a canvas print. As a parent you will naturally resonate with your kids photos, but if they are taken in a place you love, with lots of memories, those photos will later resonate with your kids and give them warm fuzzies. From my experience looking at my childhood photos, its the photos of us doing things in the places that we love that bring the most joy. Its amazing how a photo can stir up so many emotions and memories.

So to finish up, don’t be scared to have a shoot if your child is full on. I certainly don’t mind. All I care about is getting beautiful photos that make my clients happy. Why, because that makes me happy and life is to short to not create beautiful memories!!!


What do you think?

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