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10 Tips to Prepare Your Kids for a Photo Shoot

Preparing your kids mentally beforehand for a photo shoot may be challenging, but it is an important step. Ensuring they are comfortable, relaxed, and happy can make a significant difference in the outcome of the photos. Here are some tips to help you prepare your kids mentally prior to your photo session.

Communicate Clearly and Excitedly

Talk to your children about the photo shoot in a positive and exciting manner. Explain what will happen, why it’s happening, and how fun it will be. Use simple, age-appropriate language and focus on the enjoyable aspects, like dressing up or playing with props. By framing the photoshoot as a fun adventure, you can build their excitement and reduce any anxiety they might feel.

Involve Them in the Planning

Give your kids a sense of control by involving them in the planning process. Allow them to choose their outfits, suggest poses, or pick their favourite toys to bring along. This involvement can make them feel more invested and eager to participate. When children feel they have a say, they are more likely to be cooperative and excited for the shoot.

Practice at Home

Practice makes perfect. Conduct a few mini-photo shoots at home to help your kids get used to being in front of the camera. Let them pose, make silly faces, and see the pictures afterward. This practice can help them to get familiar with the process and make the actual photoshoot feel more familiar and less intimidating.

Keep it Relaxed and Fun

On the day of the photoshoot, maintain a relaxed and fun atmosphere. Avoid putting too much pressure on your kids to perform or behave in a certain way. Encourage them to be themselves and enjoy the experience. Sometimes the best photos are captured when children are genuinely happy, rather than forced into unnatural poses. Incorporate games and activities into the photoshoot to keep your kids engaged, with simple games like Simon Says or peek-a-boo. This strategy can help capture natural smiles and laughter.

Bring Comfort Items

Bring along some of your children’s favourite comfort items, like a beloved stuffed animal or blanket. These items can provide a sense of security and familiarity, helping them feel more at ease. Plus, these cherished items can make for some heartwarming, candid shots.

Plan Around Their Schedule

Schedule the photoshoot at a time when your kids are usually in a good mood. Avoid times when they are likely to be tired, hungry, or cranky, such as right before nap time or meals. Well-rested and well-fed children are more likely to be cooperative and happy during the shoot.

Prepare for Breaks

Be prepared to take breaks during the photo shoot. Kids have limited attention spans, and expecting them to stay focused for an extended period of time can be unrealistic. Allowing short breaks for snacks, drinks, or simply to run around can help them recharge and return to the shoot with renewed energy. That being said, don’t forget to pack their favourite snacks!

Don’t Resort to Devices

It is easy to resort to taking out your phone or tablet as a bribe when your kids start to misbehave or start to cry during the photoshoot. Although this may help stop them from misbehaving, it is only a quick fix and not a long-term solution. In fact, once the devices are given to the kids they would most likely kick up a bigger fuss if it has to be taken away later. Remember, it is impossible for a photographer to capture a good smiling photo of your child if he or she is looking down at a device, and it is not a solution that can easily be fixed later in Photoshop.

Use Positive Reinforcement

Instead of a device, use positive reinforcement to encourage good behaviour and cooperation. Praise your kids frequently, offer small rewards, or promise a fun activity after the photoshoot. Positive reinforcement can motivate children to participate enthusiastically and make the experience more enjoyable for everyone involved.

Choose a Child-Friendly Photographer

When choosing a photographer for your family shoot, do some research and select a photographer who has experience working with children. Check out the photographer’s family portrait portfolio and their online reviews beforehand. A skilled, child-friendly photographer will know how to engage with your kids, make them feel comfortable, and capture their personalities. They will also be patient and understanding of the challenges that come with photographing children.

By taking the time to incorporate these simple tips, you can help ensure that your little ones will be prepared for a positive photography experience. Just remember to set realistic expectations for yourself and your children. Understand that not every moment will be perfect, and that’s part of the charm. Embrace the imperfections and remember that the goal is to capture genuine moments and emotions, and leave the rest up to your skilled photographer. 

At Stories we have been capturing family portraits and beautiful moments for over 16 years. Do reach out if you would like to know more about how we can help you form the best photo memories with your loved ones.

Why You Should Have a Pre-wedding Photoshoot

It’s a bit ironic that I’m writing this article because I didn’t have a pre-wedding shoot. With the benefit of hindsight, I do wish I had more information on the matter and had given the decision more thought. So if you are like me and on the fence of whether you wish to have a pre-wedding shoot, here are 5 reasons to help you decide.

1. Allows you to have more time on your wedding day 

You may wonder about the point of a pre-wedding shoot given that you will be having photographs at your wedding day happening in just a few months time. A wedding can be a very demanding and stressful affair. While we will definitely set aside some time to take some couple portraits for you on your actual wedding day, between the ceremony, family photo sessions and guest arrivals, you might not have as much time available to dedicate to your own photos. If you had pre-wedding photos taken, you could relax knowing that couple photos are the last thing on your mind during this already hectic day. Instead, you could spend the day fully immersed in celebrations, enjoying your meal and spending quality time with loved ones. 

2. Wedding day trial run 

You want your wedding photos to showcase you at your best while still having you be relaxed and natural.  Pre-wedding portraits will allow you some time to get used to being in front of the camera. You can practice your poses and reviewing your photos can also help you prepare better for the big day. You can even use your pre-wedding session to test hair and makeup. Knowing ahead of time what suits you best will allow you to feel more at ease on your wedding day. 

3. Get to know your photographer 

A pre-wedding session is also a great opportunity to get to know your wedding photographer better and get familiar with how they interact and collaborate with you. Additionally, it helps the photographer learn more about you two as a couple. For instance, are you both naturally tactile? Do you prefer more direction in posing? Having this opportunity to know one another and develop a bond can make you feel more comfortable around your photographer and confident that the photographer will be able to deliver you at your best. 

4. Variety of locations and styles 

On your wedding day, time constraints and logistics can limit photo opportunities. A pre-wedding photoshoot on the other hand, offers more flexibility and you have options to choose for diverse locations and as well as outfits. For example, you may like to take pictures at sunrise or sunset, this can’t be controlled (as much) on your wedding day but it can be planned for during a pre-wedding session. 

A pre-wedding photoshoot can also allow you to be as creative as you want. We have even photographed a pre-wedding session in a grocery store! Maybe you want a casual photoshoot or maybe you want to go glamorous with multiple wedding gowns in different styles. It’s a once in a lifetime occasion, so go all out! 

5. Tell Your Love Story 

A wedding (especially in Asia) can sometimes be a bit of an extended family event. A lot of the wedding planning revolves around creating a great experience for your guests. On the other hand, your pre-wedding session will be exclusively to celebrate you as a couple. You can use this photoshoot to tell your unique love story – perhaps engage in an activity you both enjoy or choose a location that is meaningful to the both of you. You can even take it one step further by adding on a pre-wedding video. A video will really capture all the emotions in the lead up to the big day and will be something you watch and reminisce on in the future. 

So there you have it! I hope this list has helped open your mind to the benefits of a pre-wedding session. A bonus from doing the pre-wedding shoot is of course the beautiful, professional pictures that you can use for your save-the-date announcement or to decorate the reception. 

If this article has convinced you to have your own pre-wedding shoot, get in touch with us! Do also check out our current promotion with That White Dress for gown rentals starting from as low as RM650. 

Gary and Beverley’s Pre-Wedding at the Chateau

We’re so excited for Gary and Beverley, the beautiful couple who won our ‘An Enchanting Pre-Wedding Giveaway!’ As a couple, Gary and Beverley radiate joy and love, and their heartfelt story was beautifully captured on photos and in video. This giveaway was made possible by our photography and videography team from Stories, in collaboration with the following vendors:

Venue: The Chateau Spa and Wellness Resort, Bukit Tinggi
Florist: Nook Flowers
Wedding Gown: That White Dress
Groom’s Suit: Men’s Suit Malaysia
Makeup and Hair: My Cherry Style

We would once again like to thank each and everyone of our amazing partners who made this giveaway possible!

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Wedding at The Majestic Hotel: Adrian & Tracy

The Majestic Hotel’s orchid conservatory is one of the most beautiful indoor spaces in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia! Imagine being surrounded by hundreds of orchids! As orchids require a certain cooling temperature to blossom, you and your guests can enjoy the fresh and cooling breeze as well. Adrian & Tracy didn’t want a huge glamorous wedding with hundreds of guests so the orchid room was perfect for them. We absolutely love how the photos turn out! Orchids seen in every photo :)

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Top Tips for Photographing Large Families: Capturing Timeless Moments

If you’ve ever been involved in coordinating a family photoshoot, you’d understand the challenges that comes with it. The larger the number, the more stressful it gets! As photographers who have photographed large families up to 40 people, it’s daunting for us as well. Posing large families and ensuring everyone looks their best requires experience and skills. In Malaysia, there are many festive seasons where a family portrait session becomes necessary. If you are trying to DIY a large family portrait at home, these tips will help you master the art of photographing large families!

1. Start with a plan

Before the photoshoot, communicate with the family to discuss their vision, preferences, and any specific poses they have in mind. Consider factors such as location, wardrobe choices, and the overall style of the portraits. Having a clear plan in place will streamline the process and ensure everyone is prepared.

2. Choose a location

Selecting a suitable location is essential for large family portraits. Outdoor settings with ample natural light, such as parks, gardens, or beaches, provide a beautiful backdrop and ample space for posing. However, it can be pretty humid and chaotic when you bring so many people outdoors, so make sure you set everyone’s expectations prior to the shoot. Alternatively, if shooting indoors, opt for areas with neutral backgrounds to avoid distractions.

3. Appoint a leader

A leader is tasked in coordinating and organizing the entire shoot from the start till the end, as well as communicating with all the family members and photographer to ensure a smooth session. Create a chat group so that everyone involved receives the same message and information about the photoshoot.

4. Arranging and Posing

When posing large families, it’s helpful to establish a hierarchy to ensure everyone is positioned appropriately. Start by placing the parents or grandparents at the centre of the group, with smaller family units positioned around them. This arrangement helps to identify the family’s structure more clearly. Instead of lining everyone up in a straight row, arrange family members in layers to add depth and dimension to the photograph. This technique creates visual interest and prevents the image from appearing too flat. You can place taller individuals towards the back and shorter ones towards the front to avoid blocking faces. Utilize props or natural elements like stairs or benches to add dimension to the scene.

5. Pay attention to details

Try to take the time to pay attention to details such as wardrobe coordination, hair and hand placement. Besides that, notice for any distracting elements in the background and make adjustments as necessary. Additionally, be mindful of facial expressions, body language, and posture to convey warmth and unity within the family. Avoid stiff, unnatural poses by encouraging relaxed and comfortable stances. Guide family members to lean towards each other slightly or make physical contact to convey closeness and affection.

6. Experiment with different angles

If you have a really large family like the one below, and find it really hard to get a location to fit everyone, you can try to take a top angle shot! Everyone can be standing on the same level, but as long as they can see the camera, their faces will be seen.

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