A Sad Superman Isn’t So Super

Remember those super cute Superman pics I posted earlier this week?

Well, I have a confession.  That wasn’t the first attempt at taking those pictures of Brayden.  I took him out on Sunday morning and I should have known better.  I set myself up for failure.  He was tired and a little sick.  But, I’ve been so busy taking pictures of other peoples kids that I had to do Brayden’s pictures Sunday morning.

And this is what happened…

He cried.  A lot.

And screamed.

He screamed so loud that I was afraid someone would hear and call the police to report a kidnapping.  It was a major meltdown of epic proportions.

Brayden does not like to have his picture taken.  Which is very sad for me because I LOVE to take his picture.  And most of all, I love spending one on one time with him.  It broke my heart when he freaked out the way he did.

But, on Monday morning he surprised me and told me he wanted to try again.  I made him promise me he would have fun.  And guess what?  He did.  And I did too.

I’ve had to get creative about how I approach taking pictures with Brayden.  I want it to be a positive experience for him.  Here are some tips that have worked for us:

1)  Have the obvious bases covered:  Make sure the kid is fed and not tired.  Having a tired and hungry kid is setting yourself up for failure.  Obviously.

2)  Ask your kid what kind of treat they would like as their reward.  Promising them a toy after the shoot won’t work.  Kids need immediate gratification.  Make sure it’s something that’s not chocolatey or sticky.  Avoid suckers unless you want it in all your shots.  Because once you give them a sucker you can’t get it back.

3)  Ask your kid for input on the shoot.  For Brayden, he didn’t like the “old” buildings.  So I let him pick and choose where we would shoot.  Make them think they are in charge.

4)  Make it fun!  If you do your best to have fun and not be stressed about getting the perfect shot then your kid will (hopefully) have fun too.  Make it an adventure for them. I told Brayden that the area where we were shooting was Superman’s home.  We talked about where Spiderman lived and how Superman flew from building to building and fought the bad guys.  He got really into it.

5)  Make a memory!  I don’t ask B to take pictures anymore.  I ask him to make a memory with me.  I show him lots of pictures on the computer and talk about the memories I have from the pictures.  He loves looking at them.  When shooting I try to remind him that we get to go home and look at the memories we are making.

6)  If they’re not into it, put the camera down, give them a hug, and try again tomorrow.  It’s not worth them getting so upset over it.


  1. valerie says

    such good advice! especially asking them how they want to do things… seems like it would make it much more authentic. i’m not a huge fan of “posed” shots, and neither is he… so they always come out the worst!!
    btw, i can’t handle the CUTENESS of his C. Kent glasses!!!! ugh! 🙂
    valerie´s last blog post ..CM Challenge. unconventional light

  2. brooke vanausdal says

    Thanks for posting this it made me laugh and cry at the same time 🙂

  3. tina says

    great reminders. he’s an adorable clark kent btw. maybe even moreso pouting. 🙂

  4. I had to say “Thank you” for showing the “failure” pictures. My son, who is 4, hates his picture being taken. It is always so stressful for me since I am a photographer too and can’t even get my son’s picture. It makes me feel better other photographers have the same problem. I will say he is slowly getting better and we try to make it fun. What also works when I want a picture of both my kids, is if I tell him he needs to show his little sister how to take a good picture! lol!nick

  5. Thanks Drew for posting that. It makes me feel a whole lot better to know that I am not the only photog who can’t take a picture of their own kids within the first tries. BTW, your babies are dolls, especially that Superman of yours!

  6. Melanie says

    Great advice Drew! My girls love looking at their pictures in out photo books and love being able to choose which pictures get to go on Facebook or the blog, I think that helps take the torture out of getting their pictures taken.
    Melanie´s last blog post ..Bloom Fifty-Two ~ Week 43 ~ Dessert

  7. Kristi says

    These are epic. EPIC!!!!

    This morning Sam was in a pissy mood for a variety of reasons and I had just spent 45 minutes doing her hair for Crazy Hair Day. “Can I take a picture?” NO NO NONONONONONOOOOOOOO as she ran away from me.


    But your pictures, OMG. I love B! LOVE HIM!
    Kristi´s last blog post ..Review: Archangel’s Blade by Nalini Singh

  8. Stephanie says

    great post with great advice! love the “making memories” idea- will definitely be trying that one!

  9. So cute!!!! And GREAT advice!!! 🙂 I love the trick of creating memories. Whenever Aiden doesn’t want his pic taken, I say, it’s for Daddy, so he can put it on his phone…. then all of a sudden, he’s all about it. 🙂
    Jamie Bengard´s last blog post ..2.22.12

  10. Mike Kelly says

    Thank you for posting this! I’ve always been jealous of how it seemed like Brayden always was interested in your fab shoots. My daughter is exactly as described in this post. If she’s in the mood for pictures she’ll let me know, but otherwise I have to be sneaky and dodge the constant refrain of “No Pictures!!!” coming from her 🙂

    I love the advice on point 6, my daughter loves to look at the pictures, just seems to hate taking them (byproduct of me constantly taking pictures of her since birth I’m sure 🙂 )

  11. erica says

    GREAT advice!!!! I find myself frustrated so many times on not getting what I desire when I take the kids to places for a creative photo session….I think for me it is stressful because I usually have all 3 by myself trying to get these photos, but because the kids don’t always want to cooperate!

  12. Kim says

    My three year old yells “no more pictures” when I get my camera out. I love the “making memories” line. I’ll have to try that. I was thrilled when she saw the photos I’d taken of another three year old and said, “I want to get my picture taken on the rocks like her!” I had the dress out of the closet before she finished her sentence!

  13. Lacey says

    Such great advice, Drew! I’m finally at that point where I am fine just putting my camera down in they aren’t into it. And THEY are at the point that when they see me do that, they feel bad and ask me to take their photo! 🙂

  14. Matt says

    Lovely pics with excellent advice. I also love to take photos of my kids. They love it too. It’s a great way to keeps your memories with yourself.
    Matt´s last blog post ..Winning Lottery