{Session Planning} Full Disclosure

I have a strict "Don't Kill Santa" policy. 

"Come again??" 

Have you ever joked about Santa in the company of a child you thought was old enough to know better? ...Only to find they didn't in fact... "know better"?

...No? Maybe it's just me, then.

But surely you can imagine how crushing it would be. For both parties involved.  

Now, in my work, "Santa" can be code for any number of things. 

  • Maybe the family dog died last week. I probably shouldn't be asking your children "do you have any pets?" 
  • Maybe you and your spouse are "separated but friendly".   How uncomfortable would it be if I asked you to share a smooch in front of children who are holding out hope for a mommy-daddy reunion??

Sure, I want to evoke emotion for your photos, but hysterical bouts of tears, dashed hopes and dreams, or confusion of epic proportions aren't exactly what I'm going for here. 

These things *do* happen, and while I'd like to say we always recover and go on to take lovely photos... that's not always the case. Children are fickle beasts, my friends! Help me to help you, so I can deliver the best possible photos, AND the best possible experience, of our session. 

I work with clients that have all sorts of special needs ("my child does *NOT* like to be touched") and special circumstances ("my kids don't know mom's new "special friend Joe" is really her new boyfriend"). But it's up to you to tell me what they are, so I can address them in a way that is respectful to and consistent with your parenting decisions. 

Let's keep Santa alive, folks. Full Disclosure is best practice.