• Anel van Dyk

What not to do

So, you've decided to do a professional photo shoot and are oh so excited and maybe a bit nervous and have no idea what to do. Well, here's a list of what not to do.

1. Say Cheese

Seriously don't. EVER. The same goes for any other circumlocution of words to force a smile. Although cheese should put a smile on your face because it is absolutely amazing, but as far as smile inducing words are concerned it's not the food source to go with.

No one wants to look at a forced happiness, nothing good comes from forcing anything. Instead, there are alternative ways and different techniques to use to get that million dollar smile all depending on the age group. Acting silly, chasing kids around, making funny faces are all tried and tested methods and are bound to work almost all the time.

2. Stress

Having a camera shoved in your face can be quite intimidating and where you are usually such an easy-going-fine-with-everything type of person, you now suddenly find yourself put on center stage and feel the need to 'perform' and don't know what to do with your hands.

When you feel stressed it shows and it will rub off on those accompany you on the shoot. Relax, I'll guide through every step if you need me to. Just relax.

3. Double Stress

Adding young children to the mix can add to the mountain of stress you may experience. Running after them, trying to get them to do 'that perfect pose' is exhausting - that's why you hire a professional!

They are bound to do the opposite of what you ask and they know they can get away with it, so whenever kids are involved they pretty much control the entire session and you just go with it. This also ensures that you get those authentic moments that truly reflect your family's unique dynamic.

4. Control

Don't try to control the session, it's stressful for you, it is unpleasant for the photographer and an all rounder no-no. The photographer might just bite, you never know...


Don't comment on everything the photographer is doing, it's very distracting and quite frankly rude. If you don't trust your photographers' capabilities you shouldn't have hired him/her, after all, they don't show up at your work telling you what to do so sit back and let the professional be the professional.

6. Stick to the schedule

With my type of photography there is no such thing as a 'stick to the plan' schedule. Whenever kids and pets are part of the photo shoot, it will never go according to plan and it make the day that much more interesting. There are general guidelines to follow but that's as close to 'The Plan' as you're going to get.

Of course this list could go on forever, but this is enough to cover the basics and ensure that the day goes according to plan. Even just a little.

#Whatnottodo #howtophoto #saycheese #meliamphotography