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How to deal with shy kids at your photoshoot, by Montreal Family Photographer Carolina Hanna

Dealing with Shy Kids at Your Family Shoot

Kids will be who they will be, and sometimes that means they are shy and will hide from me during your photo shoot.  Clearly, this isn’t ideal, but the last thing we want to do is upset your child right off the bat.

If your kids act crazy and never stop moving, we can work with that, but if they are angry and crying, which inevitably means you’re probably pretty mad too, there’s no amount of photoshopping that can fix that.

Now, I will never ever force a child to do something they don’t want to do.  So, if your child becomes overrun by shyness during your photoshoots don’t worry.  Instead, change the subject.  Let’s not focus on the fact that your child is shy or hiding, instead, play with them to try to get them out of their bubble, and to help them forget I’m there. 

By diverting our attention on the positive and the playful, your little one will eventually want to be involved.  It might take 5 minutes, or it might take an hour – but we will get there.  

Sometimes it means a little extra love from you, or me putting my camera down for a little while so they can learn to trust me without the intimidating contraption in my hands. Sometimes, a little bribery might be involved.  Whatever you do, don’t get mad and don’t ever threaten your kids with punishment.  

The whole reason you hired me was because you realized how important documenting this part of your life is, and your shy little one is a part of this story, right now.  

I promise that with enough patience your child will come around. 

The big sister in the shoot below wanted nothing to do with me and my camera when I first arrived.  She literally hid behind her mom, and while it does make a cute photo op, I know her mama wasn’t looking for a gallery of hidden face images.  

Her parents focused on her, giving her some time away from the camera, a little alone time with mama, and then just focused on being playful.  Eventually, she forgot what we were doing and just wanted to have fun and play. 

When you give your little ones what they need from you, whether it’s a little breathing space or a little extra positive attention, that’s when the magic happens. 

– Carolina