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How to be ‘Studio Savvy’

Stepping in front of the camera for the first time can be a very exciting experience for aspiring young actors and models. You will get a taste of being in a professional studio setting with an experienced photographer who works hard to get lots of amazing shots.

To help make the most of your time in the studio, we asked one of our savvy photographers some frequently asked questions to help parents who may be getting ready for their child’s first photoshoot!

How do you get a child to follow directions?

It depends on their age - kids over 12 will usually follow directions pretty easily, especially once you build some common ground to ease their nerves. With toddlers it’s all about making everything a game and not taking yourself too seriously. One of the best parts about my job is that I get to act silly and be a kid everyday.

How do you structure each studio session?

I always like to create some common ground and build rapport in the first 5/10 min. For toddlers this involves asking them what their favourite TV or cartoon character is and finding some common interests. For young teens it's similar but more about hobbies, music and sport. I always like to show them a few preview shots early into the shoot so they can see how the photos are turning out - their faces usually light up and from there on they are totally on board. I will usually ask them if they have any poses they want to do as making them feel involved in the shooting process is also important.

Do’s and Don'ts for parents?

DO bring a spare outfit! Especially with babies and toddlers that tend to drool or get messy.

DO be on time! But not too early either. Plan ahead for traffic and mishaps and give yourself enough time to go have a coffee or relax somewhere before heading into the studio.

DO make sure your baby is fed and has slept before the shoot.

DON'T bring the whole family (aunties, uncles, grandparents, nephews etc) as this usually distracts the child and they become overwhelmed. 2 adults is usually plenty.

DON'T get too involved during the shoot! Give your photographer a chance to capture the smiles themselves first - that’s their job - if they need some help they’ll definitely let you know.

Common outfit/makeup mistakes?

Most kids I photograph don’t usually pick their own outfits or do their own hair and makeup so this is for all the parents! You may be tempted to pick an extravagant outfit for your child or style their hair and put some makeup on them but please DON’T. We want kids to look like kids and to get the best shots - we don’t want them to look like they’re wearing a halloween costume! If you avoid over the top or ‘sporty’ outfits and shoes, you’ll already be set for a much better shoot!

How do you pick backgrounds/props for each session?

I love colour blocking and monochromatic images - red on red etc - they always look classy and it draws the attention to the talent's face. I always try to enhance the talents' natural features like their blue eyes by using a blue background. Grey is always a good choice for muted earthy colours.

We hope this makes preparing for your next photoshoot so much easier!



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