I love taking time to photograph the ring bearer and flower girl on the wedding day. It’s like you can feel the excitement just radiate off of them! I think they feel special to be so dressed up and the smiles that follow are enough to stop your heart!! I think that it’s possible to photograph the essence of a wedding in just 10 seconds. And I think you can do that with a child. Since that’s about all the time you get with children, I wanted to share a few tips for how I approach flower girls and ring bearers!!
QUICKLY EVALUATE THEIR EMOTIONS AND INDIRECTLY ADDRESS HOW THEY ARE FEELING - I always want to consider how they might be feeling so that I can help them to conquer anything that would get in the way of photographing who they really are. Ask yourself if they are stressed or if they are nervous. What does this specific child need from you so that they can overcome any fears that might be present?
I once asked a flower girl if I could photograph her and she almost started crying. She was so concerned about this little curl that kept blowing in her face. I could have pinned it back, but it looked like the hair stylist had left it that way on purpose. I told her that the curl was beautiful and she instantly relaxed. I photographed that little curl and it ended up being one of the bride’s favorite photographs!
ASK THE FLOWER GIRL TO CLOSE HER EYES IF SHE IS CAMERA SHY - There is something about a girl closing her eyes that makes her completely relax. So if I am working with a camera shy flower girl, I love asking her to close her eyes! Once she has taken a few breaths, I will ask her to look at me! See photo below!
DON’T PUSH THEM - If the flower girl or ring bearer are against having their photograph taken, don’t push it. Often moms will get involved and try to make their children cooperate, but in my experience this has never resulted in a great photo. If the child is resistant, I just tell mom that I will try again later. I have noticed that if the kiddos have some time to think about it, they will come around to the idea! It will be way more fun for them and way less stressful for everyone else!
*Note that this is for a single photo of the flower girl or ring bearer. There is an entirely different solution for uncooperative kiddos during family formals!
ASK THEM WHAT THEY WANT TO DO - If I am short on time, I will take a “safe shot” and then ask them what it is they want to do! Sometimes their ideas are distracting: for example, I don’t have time to climb a tree with them on a wedding day. But I do love the creativity! If they ask me to take a photo of something specific (like them jumping or being silly), I do everything that I can to make that happen!
ASK THEM TO HOLD THEIR FAVORITE THING FROM THE WEDDING - These photos are always my favorite. I just ask the flower girl or ring bearer what their favorite thing is about the wedding and then I ask them to hold it!
For example, the football was a favorite of the ring bearer in the photo above! I love how proud he looks to be holding something that was so special to him!
In the photo below, the seashell was especially meaningful to the flower girl! She said that she wished she could live on the island and wanted to keep the seashell. I love the details that are meaningful to kids! It will never get old to see their faces light up when they get to hold something special to them!
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