“The best ‘poses’ are things the
family happens to fall into naturally.”
Prepare to sooth. Anderson, a mom of three
herself, finds it helpful to jump in to quiet
little ones through shushing and rocking. But
you’ll need to approach with self-assurance.
“If you seem unsure about it, a mom is much
less likely to hand over the reins to you,” she
says. “You really have to walk proudly and
confidently and know what you’re doing.”
Be prepared to help calm down frustrated
moms and dads too, perhaps by suggesting
they get a bite or take a walk. “The image
quality is going to be spectacular with a re-
laxed family,” Anderson says.
Shoot in the home. Though an unfamiliar house
lacks the predictability of a studio, Anderson
finds clients to be more relaxed when they’re
at home and know they can feed, change and
handle baby screams in private. Plus, Anderson
likes incorporating a family’s space into her
images. “If I’m capturing little glimpses of their
environment, it helps to preserve those memories and create memories you don’t even realize
you’re creating,” she says.
She might ask subjects to gather on the couch,
Watch for small moments. Anderson is able to
for instance, and then she’ll start snapping as
they settle in while handling the baby. “I like to
catch what they do when they’re not paying
attention to me,” she says. “That’s when
you’re going to get the most genuine emo-
tion and expression.”
plan some shots based on client responses to a
paper questionnaire that helps her understand
what families are expecting from the session.
But she knows she will also be making decisions
on the fly. “I think the best ‘poses’ are things the
family happens to fall into naturally,” she says.
Pho ToS © PInkLe ToeS Pho TogRAPh Y
Top: This baby, named Joe, was photographed in a very
small room with great light. Almost the entire session was
done there. Above: Doc with parents Lauren and Adam and
the family pet. A shallow depth of field can turn what might
be a busy image into a soft expression of love. Right: Baby
Sienna sleeps. Incorporating special items from the client,
instead of your own store-bought props adds much more
meaning to the images.
To learn about Michele Anderson’s workshops, visit