What if my child is shy?
I have had plenty a shy child in my studio and during outdoor family shoots, and also shy adults. I feel really strongly about this in a few different ways...
1. Shy is allowed
Whoever decided that shy is not OK, that it is not a valid and valuable personality trait? Shy, introverted, quiet, taking a bit of time to get used to things are all OK with me and I welcome your child for who they are. I choose to respect how they feel and who they are, rather than try to make them be something they are not and I believe in allowing the photos to reflect that.
2. Time to warm up
Some children are shy at first and then after a little while they start to feel safe and comfortable. This is why I will always give time to your child to 'warm up'. I do this by allowing them to be in the space with no expectations for awhile, I chat to them quietly and gently while allowing them to stay close to Mum or Dad, I get a few small toys out and play with them, or take a photo of Mum or Dad and show them the back of my camera which they usually love. If a child still feels uncomfortable I will find another way to get their photos like having them on Mums lap or with their sibling. Anything to help them feel happy and safe.
There really is no right way to do a photoshoot.
3. I channel my inner introvert
I am an introvert meaning that although I love time with my family and friends, I need lots of quiet time to recharge. For a long time I thought this was a flaw but I have come to see it as a super power because along with it for me comes a strong dose of sensitivity and empathy which I now see as super powers.
And so I understand the feelings of a shy or unsure child and use those super-powers to create an environment for them that feels safe.
If this is a topic you are interested in, I recommend this great book which absolutely validates that being quiet is OK.