“I want you to be on your best behavior”
Tempting, I know. However, goofy and curious kids are actually much easier for me to engage with and that makes the whole thing feel like fun family time rather than a chore.
Instead say: “We’re going to meet a new friend who is going to take pictures for us”
Are you using the pictures for a holiday card? Are you gifting prints to grandma? Let them in the loop and get them excited. What sounds better: “You better be on your best behavior” or “Our friend Nicole is going to help us take some pictures for grandma so she can put them up in her house and see you every day.”
“I want everyone to look at the camera”
It’s so much easier for me to connect with your kids about what they’re interested in--and when I do this they will naturally look towards the camera since I’ll be right behind it.
Instead say: literally Anything that will help me connect with your family
Favorite movies, shows, characters, colors, books, foods, their friends, their favorite sports or activities--there are so many things we can talk about to keep everyone in the conversation. Everyone loves talking about their favorite things and happy people make great pictures.