Should I bring hats to my photo shoot?

I love when parents bring accessories to photo shoots! Considering I have a full time job at a worldwide advertising agency in New York City, it's less I have to think about. It also breaks up the flow and sends us on another track, often with great results. A few of my clients have brought hats that have given them what seems like a whole new set of images!

I photographed one little girl after Hurricane Sandy at Avalon Park in Stony Brook, on Long Island, New York. While the gas lines stretched down the road behind us, we walked the length of the pathway up the hill and through the woods. I photographed the girl and her sister the whole time, but when we put her hat on, another personality came out completely. Something about hats makes children concentrate more on the hat than their fear of the camera. So you end-up with more genuine photos of your kids.

What's great about clients like that girl – besides the hat – is that she would perfectly pose  even before I was able to make my own suggestion. What a great scenario! Because when tensions are still high from a natural disaster like the one we had, and the photographer has multiple sessions in one day, throwing in a hat to throw off tension is a suburb idea. At the point we photographed Hat Girl, the holidays were also right around the corner, so even if her mom wanted to, putting off the shoot wouldn't have been an option. But between the great model, wonderful location and sweet little hat, it was a success.
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