Monday, September 10, 2018

Halloween Mini Sessions 10-27-2018

6th Annual Halloween Mini-Sessions October 27, 2018

Here you are dressed up for the night,
You knock and knock hoping to fright,
Instead, I answer the door dressed up too,
And I give you a scare when I yell BOO!

My favorite things come in Fall, sweater weather, pumpkin spiced lattes, and the time around the fire when it's just cold enough for my kitty to curl up and cuddle. With Fall, also comes Halloween and the 6th Annual Ell Photography Costume Mini-Sessions!!!! I can't wait to see the kiddies in their costumes!!! Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year, but we are hosting our annual Halloween Open House on Saturday, October 27th.  Munchkins will have a chance to practice trick-or-treating in the daylight somewhere familiar, then you come in for some mini-session photos.

This year, the set is Fall-themed, and not exclusively "Halloween" themed. It's still great for little ones in costumes, but also as your children get older, they can also just come for a Fall mini-session in the same set. The set will be in warm colors with a few pumpkins, but nothing scary with spiders or skeletons this year. If we have leaves around the property, we may include those too!!

To make things easy this year, we have online signups! Each session will include 5 minutes to transition families and 10 minutes on set. For your convenience, so that you don't have to wait around after to view and pick out photos, all families that choose to include digital images will also get to choose which image to use to fulfil their magnets, prints, and acrylic blocks.


We are excited for our 6th Halloween mini-session What we have learned from experience is that when there is more than one munchkin in a costume, there is a lot going on, and it is best if you add some extra time. Since mini-sessions are only 15 minutes total (10 minutes on set), if you have more than one child and any of the children are under 6, please add an extra 15 min of time to your booking so we can capture each child at their best or good ones of them together! *** more explanation below.

There are several options of types of packages from prints, to collector's magnets, to collector's 4x4" Acrylic Blocks that you can decorate for Halloween with year after year, even after the children are grown. Then, of course, there are digital packages too! Any image that is included with your package will be posted in low-res to our Ell Photography Facebook album (unless you specifically request to withhold yours), so even if you just get the magnet or acrylic block package, you'll still have one low-res digital to share with friends and family! If you order a digital package, you will receive the images promptly via Dropbox and can choose from those which to fulfil your magnet, prints, or acrylic block!

** Please note that event tickets are not refundable, but may be transferred to another family if you cannot make it. **


SHY CHILDREN: If you know your child might take a little bit to warm up to a new situation or location, you have two options. You may come early and play in the lobby (but you may not watch in or distract prior sessions). Many families also choose to add extra time, even for just one child to make sure they are warmed up, happy, and get good smiles!

HOW TO GET THE BEST PHOTOS IN A MINI SESSION: Every parenting style is different, but here is what I have learned works best to get children to participate!
* Have your child try on or play in their costume the day before so you make sure it fits and they feel comfortable in it and are not scared of it since it is new (and sometimes more confining than regular clothes).
* Make sure the costume is not uncomfortable. Clip any tags that might be scratchy. If there is a tulle tutu or other scratchy parts, have them wear leggings underneath, or an undershirt or onesey between the skin and the itchy part.
* In general, the children will be sitting or standing, so barefeet is the best unless the shoes are part of the costume. If the child is not yet walking, please do not have them wear shoes as all we will see is the soles.
* Make sure to get your child to nap appropriately for their start time and try not to give them candy, sugar, or anything new before the session that would throw their regular energy cycle off.
* Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs: Make sure they are not too hot or cold, make sure they have a good meal before coming and bring water or a light colored juice (like apple juice) in case they are thirsty.

* IMPORTANT: (I do not want to tell you how to parent your children, but this is my experience with hundreds of families) RESIST ALL URGES TO BRIBE YOUR CHILDREN!! If children are too young to understand bribes, they want the reward in question NOW, and do not understand the concept of "later." If they are old enough to understand bribes, they generally will do the most minimum thing possible to get the reward. Neither reaction will give good photos.
* Instead, try to make the mini-session sound fun and all the things they can do to act like their costume character and how their grandparents and aunts and uncles can't wait to see photos of them in their costume! Treat the session as a play-date and show them how much fun they will have!
* Last but not least, if your child is a bit obstinate, or unhappy, DO NOT let them see your frustration, keep trying to make the activities fun up until the time is up. When a parent snaps, there are more emotional obstacles to overcome (fear, shame, hurt feelings & tears, anger, frustration) to get to that happy place where we get good pictures.

We don't like the "smiling or screaming" policy that many studios have for their mini-sessions where they stick to the time allotted no matter the mental state of your children. We want great pictures of them having fun! Every year, there is a family that doesn't think they will need the time, but the children are overly excited for Halloween, and we have to go overtime to get good photos of them together or have enough time for individual photos. However, we also hate to get behind schedule because that impacts every other family later in the day, so we have made the extra time affordable. You can either add a second package if you want one product of each child to do individuals, or we can do them together and you can just add the extra time. Thank you for your consideration!