Ohhh the pre-teen years. They sneak up on you, don't they? You start to see small glimpses of them and one day, BAM, you've arrived!
I hear a lot of photographers are challenged by the pre-teen, and teen years. They are often looking for advice on how to capture authentic connections. Let's be honest, the pre-teens and teenagers generally DON'T want to take family photos and without some coaxing, that can come across in the final product. Long gone are the Baby Shark, peek-a-boo, and silly dance moves days, and it can be a challenge.
Well, it is a good thing I am up for a challenge. ;) I have a few fun games and tricks up my sleeve and are ever-evolving but somehow, no matter the audience, I can usually strike a chord and get those connections.
A few of my favorite ice breaker games is to simply ask questions and have everyone look at the person who... "has the stinkiest feet, does the best on math tests, does the least amount of chores". It always brings good laughter and then I can bring up those fun facts and go with it later. Kids also love to talk about themselves and what they are into so maybe I'll bond over a shared hobby, tv show, or song. I also love movement and games like slap hand, "rock and roll", and "who is the tallest".
For this family session, we set out into the beautiful forest located in Lake Forest, California, and I was able to work with these two (11 & 8) and still capture their sibling love, family love, and laughter even though they are a bit of an older crowd than some of my other clientele.
What are somethings your pre-teens still find funny? Maybe you can help me build my repertoire.