Family Session Prompts and Games to Get Genuine Smiles Each and Every Time with Shalonda Chaddock.

Episode 18: Show Notes.

Family sessions are incredibly rewarding to shoot, but they come with their own challenges. With many people to coordinate, it’s important to have a clear plan of action as a photographer to get the best out of the shoot. Shalonda Chaddock, today’s guest, is a family photographer extraordinaire, and she joins us to share her unique approach to her shoots. In this episode, Shalonda discusses how having children was the impetus to pursue photography professionally. She saw the magic of capturing milestones and has been hooked ever since. We also explore the importance of creating a connection with the client before a shoot. Shalonda does this through numerous phone calls and collaboratively working on styling before the session. A big part of what makes Shalonda’s photographs so special is the happiness she is able to capture. She shares some of the fantastic games and prompts she makes use to get families comfortable in front of the camera. Along with this, we hear about how Shalonda tackles grumpy dads and kids and some of the wonderful educational resources she has on offer. Be sure to tune in today!

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Key Points From This Episode:

  • Hear about Shalonda’s background and how she got into photography.
  • How Shalonda taught herself about photography after her first daughter was born.
  • Incredible opportunities that have come Shalonda’s way from being a photographer.
  • The benefits of having your children close together in age.
  • Shalonda only shoots real families and not models or the families of photographers.
  • Connection between photographer and client is key to having a great session.
  • Why Shalonda speaks with prospective clients on the phone rather than doing internet bookings.
  • Shalonda’s hands-on approach to clothing and styling her clients.
  • Two different types of family shoots Shalonda does — Regular and Happy Place Sessions.
  • Some of the games that Shalonda get clients to play in their shoots. 
  • The real reason that dads are often grumpy at shoots, according to Shalonda.
  • Shalonda’s use of stickers to engage children during shoots.
  • Some of the educational materials that Shalonda has available on her website.

Notable Quotes:

“My kids are like the reason that I picked up a camera.” — Shalonda Chaddock [0:07:01]

“I shoot just real-life people that come in every variety; families come in every variety.” — Shalonda Chaddock [0:11:40]

“People are most comfortable in a scenario where they’re actually doing things.” — Shalonda Chaddock [0:16:30]

“Movement and giving them tasks are the key to getting people to forget that your camera is there.” — Shalonda Chaddock [0:21:09]

“The more fun we have, the more fun our clients are having and vice-versa.” — Shalonda Chaddock [0:28:17]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Chubby Cheek Photography

Chubby Cheek Photography Instagram

Chubby Cheek Photography Facebook

Texas A&M University

Style & Select

Talladega Nights

Travel Texas

The Reset Conference

Imaging USA