SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT – THE BUG AND BEE
Want to know how to prepare your child for family photos? Luckily, in my second Small Business Spotlight, I want to introduce you to someone that can help. Kate Jennings of The Bug and Bee is a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor and child and teen therapist. I’ve had the pleasure of photographing her and her precious family for several years now. She is a great resource for parents, discussing all.the.things kid-related on her Instagram page named the same as her practice – The Bug and Bee. Kate is an active member of the community, involved in events and organizations such as Craft and Creel Family Philanthropies, and has also been named in the Fort Worth’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2022 and Mom-Approved by DFW Child Magazine in 2023. I’m so excited that she’s sharing 5 tips to prepare your child for family photos!
5 tips to prepare your child for family photos
Want to know the #1 protective factor is for children? Having a trusted adult in their lives. These adults (i.e.. you, Mom & Dad!) help to lay the foundation for their development. You show them what stable and positive relationships look like. You show them that their needs are valid and can be met. You show them, above all else, that they are safe.
Studies have shown that children who grow up in a space where they see themselves in photographs have a greater sense of confidence and self-esteem. They see their families, surrounded by love and laughter, and they see where they belong in the world. While many of us get our digital images and gush over Nikki’s ability to capture our children’s true spirits, how many of us take the time to print these same photos and put them up on the wall?
Sure, we can show our children we love them through waving down the ice cream truck or taking them to play at the park- but how do you make something so abstract as love into something concrete? Through images they see as they walk down the stairs every morning. They see that they are a part of something bigger than themselves. They see their sister chasing them playfully with a stick, or they see the joy in their face when they discovered their little brother’s teeny tiny toes. So now I ask- would you print and display those photos if you knew that it could help your children grow up knowing they are as precious and good and safe as you know they are?
On top of everything else, Nikki gives all of her newborn and family customers a print credit, so now you have no excuse not to click and print! Okay, now that I have you convinced to order your photo prints, let’s talk how to help your children feel more at ease on Family Photo Day so you, too, can get that frame-able pic for your stairway gallery wall.
Not only do I need you to breathe, but model this for your kids. “I’m feeling a bit worried about getting everyone dressed in time, I’m going to breathe in (with your arms outstretched, going up) like the sunrise, and breathe out (with your arms going down) like the sunset. Ah, do you want to try with me?” If you’re frantic, they will be too, and nobody needs your makeup sweating off before you even get to the shoot.
I turn on Kidz Bop in the car on the way to our photoshoots. Why? It lightens the mood, and it distracts us. It makes my kids smile, and isn’t that the goal of the next 15 minutes you’re about to spend at the Lumen Room? We’ve even been known to turn on Disney Princess songs during our shoots- who can be grouchy when a Jamaican crab is singing with a little mermaid?!
Let Go of Some Control
You know what one of my favorite pictures is that Nikki has captured? When my daughter ran into the frame at my son’s first birthday shoot. Seeing her hesitant little brother unsure of what to do with the sugary goodness in front of him, she ran over, stuck her chubby finger in that bumblebee cake and shoved it in his mouth. He giggled the best giggle, and Nikki captured it all. Not quite how I planned my Pinterest-Perfect Photo. But when I let go of control (and some unrealistic expectations), she snapped my favorite of them all.
Look, I get it- I want my daughter to wear a bow just as much as the next
Texas momma. But what choices can I give WITHIN my limit? “Do you want to wear this
bow or that bow? Do you want to wear leggings or no leggings? Do you want to keep
your shoes on or take them off?” Choices help kids feel more in control. The more in
control we feel, the less likely we are to meltdown when mom needs us to wear
We trust dentists to clean our teeth and surgeons to perform brain surgery. Let’s trust the photographer to get the shot. They are a professional just as much as Dr. Meredith Grey is a professional. Let them do their thing. If they say, “Get closer,” nudge up to your hubby like you’re newlyweds. If they say, “Push your chin out,” do it (even though you feel like an ostrich). They’re the professionals, and you’ll be glad you took their advice (and you’ll have two less chins, too).
Looking for more ways to support your kiddos? Follow along over on Instagram @thebugandbee for tips, tricks, and parenting skills for your use at home. All lightened up with wit and wine, of course.
I hope you find these tips to prepare your child for photos helpful! I’ve got several more Small Business Spotlights lined up in the coming months. I can’t wait to share them with you!