What Does it Mean to Be an Expert in Photographing Kids, And Why Does It Matter?

Dec 13, 2021

Honestly, photographers are a dime a dozen which is why it is so important to choose one that specializes in working with kids for your family portraits! There are literally so many photographers out there, it’s bananas. Some are professionals, which I define not only as doing it to make a living but also intangible terms – is insured, pays for permits, has a business license, takes proper payment (as in does not venmo), and pays taxes, while others do it as a hobby. So, the ultimate question is would you trust your home renovation to someone who does it as a hobby? Sure, the reno might get done, but it’s going to take twice as long, not as nice, and most likely will be super frustrating.

Here’s the real deal. Family portraits can be stressful. For some, it’s like pulling teeth to get the whole family on board. For others, it’s about getting it scheduled between soccer practice or nap time. Ok cool, so you’ve finally strong-armed the fam into coming and ensured everyone is dressed, their hair brushed, and shoes on. Now you must bend them to your will to look happy about doing it. Well, that’s where our experience comes in because we don’t try to bend their will. We want them to be more themselves than ever.

A Specialty, Like Any Others

Back to an analogy. Your general practitioner might be amazing but if you’re going for heart surgery, you want the best heart surgeon. Photography is similar. Yes, we all have cameras. But like a surgeon has different tools than a GP, a portrait photographer has a different set of lenses. But it’s more than just the equipment. It’s about how we engage with kids. An amazing wedding photographer captures moments during an event. They can tell a huge group of people how to pose.

We talk about the importance of specializing in working with kids because we firmly believe in the importance of connecting with kids. Specializing in working with kids allows us to bring out your kid’s true personality! I say it all the time, you can have the most talented wedding photographer out there — like blow your socks off amazing. But if they don’t work with kids on a regular basis, they won’t know how to pose. How to engage. When working with adults you can say, take a step to the left, or lift your chin. You can’t say that to a kid! They will look at you like you have three heads. We put hours, honestly years, into perfecting how we engage kids.

We Meet Kids, Where They Are At Their Level

We work hard to meet kids at their level – wherever they are. That allows them to feel comfortable, at ease, and to stop thinking about smiling… because no one wants that forced smile. We have games we play with shy kids; we have techniques to engage with rambunctious kids. But at the end of the day, so many moms walk out saying “you couldn’t possibly have gotten anything”. And guess what, we always do. I promise we get the shot.

Bottom line, Working With A Specialist Matters

So the bottom line, it’s not just about being able to capture the amazing portrait. It’s about the experience and how you get there – it needs to be easy for you and fun for the kids! Work with an expert. Work with an expert that specializes in kids, because it matters.



About the Author

Lara Aman Mattey

Founder I Owner I Ivory Tree

Lara is the coolest person alive, according to her husband, Nick, & two little ladies, Caitie & Lorelai. But she thinks her time is limited on that statement as they continue to grow older. Lara comes from a large family, with whom she is still very close with & you’ll often see shared through the blog and on social media. She went to Penn State (We Are…) where she met Nick.

Ivory Tree's very own photographer, Marcy shot her newborn photography sessions & Lara was hooked! Lara is not a photographer, super weird, we know. But lives for the experience, creative direction, and meeting all the cool folks who come through the Ivory Tree Portraits studio!

In addition to studio awards, Lara was also recognized at a Women of Influence on the Main Line in 2023.

Follow along as she shares studio antics, personal antidotes, & fun stuff going on in the community.

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