I have only one rule when it comes to bringing any extra people along on your photo shoot. This includes mom hanging out during a high school senior shoot, grandma following along on her grandbaby’s photo shoot or your next door neighbor hitching a ride because he was bored.
Only one rule: That person has to make you feel good about yourself.
I don’t mind people milling around behind me during a photo shoot, but I do mind when they do not contribute to a constructive environment. Or if they are complainers.
When you schedule a photo shoot and think you want to bring someone along, just make sure that person is someone who will help you feel comfortable and have fun. They should also be fast with the compliments.
Warning: if the person you bring along is being judgemental or bossy, I will say something. I will be nice, but we just don’t have time for people who make you feel self-conscious or cannot be constructive.
Here are a few photo shoot situations, and my thoughts on who should or shouldn’t be invited to tag along.
- Family Portraits – just bring the family members that will be photographed. You won’t need anyone else. This will also help you stick to your specific family dynamic.
- High School Senior Portraits – Bring whoever is going to make you feel great about yourself. It could be mom or your three best friends. If mom is going to harass you (and me), bring dad. Dad is usually cool and will just hang out. Friends are most often the best bet.
- Child/Newborn Portraits – One parent often works best. Typically this would be the parent that isn’t going to get stressed out. No offense to grandparents, but they are not a good fit for this.
- Couples/Engagement – Don’t bring your mom, that would be weird.
- Other – Keep it simple.
These are merely recommendations. You should feel comfortable to bring whomever you would like to bring, because the photo shoot is all about you. Make sure everybody knows that and we will be in business.
*I featured this photo because this shoot was a great example of how parents should act during a photo shoot. Mom and dad were available, but hung back and totally let her do her thing.