Erika is a natural light photographer specializing in newborns, children, seniors and families. You can see more at

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Keeping dads in the picture | erika snow photography

Sometimes getting dad in front of the camera for family photographs is a tough sell.  Mom usually sets up the photo session (sometimes for a time when dad isn’t even home), plans out the location, puts together all the outfits.  Dad puts on what he was told to wear and mentally prepares himself to spend an entire day looking here and smiling.  Can you blame them for not jumping at the mention of getting family portraits taken?  Often times dad’s feel awkward in front of a camera and come off looking stiff in pictures.

I’ve found the best way to encourage fathers to have natural candid moments with their children in front of the lens is to take time to explain your style and point of view.  To put him at ease, I ask him to live without his cell phone for a few minutes, and I use a little humor and promise to take no more than 15 minutes of his time.  Many dads love the techy side of photography so we talk about camera equipment to break the ice.  If your guy is a new dad he might not know yet how to hold the infant without looking awkward, so make sure they are relaxed with their new baby in arms.  Sitting down helps or relating the baby to a football.  You hold the two very similar.  With older children, dads are often distracted by how the child is behaving and they forget to relax, look at the camera, and interact affectionately with the child.  Most men appreciate some guidance on what they should be doing.  I give a bit of reassuring direction by saying something like,  “I’ll worry about getting good shots of little Jack, you just sit back, relax and look good!”

Encourage fathers to play with their children, even wrestle with them and be hands on to get great moments to capture.  Dads often sigh with relief when they find out I’m not expecting them to sit still and pose the whole time, and find they not only enjoy our session, but also love the finished photos.

Happy Shooting!


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Comments (1)

  1. Rachael 06/19/2010 at 8:10 pm

    last last picture is awesome! love it!