1st Holy Communion – How to prep for your child’s special day?

Spring brings so many occasions in which to prepare – Easter, Mother’s Day, Graduation and if you’re religious, First Holy Communion. Along with being a wonderful moment in your child’s Life, it can be stressful for Moms and Dads alike. Which dress to pick out, what suit or dress shirt to wear, can they walk down the church aisle in these dress shoes without tripping, does this veil even look right- maybe I attached it upside down? It’s endless!

In my 20th year of business at The Camera’s Eye, I thought I might share a few tips to ease your stress. I shoot at least two Holy Communions every Spring and I’ve tweaked a lot of crooked ties and lopsided veils. ; )

First, take a deep breath. Your energy will transfer to your child and you want this is be a lovely experience for them. If you’re having portraits taken prior or through the church, (I do both in my Studio on Lake Street and at the Church of Epiphany), know that most of the people involved have everything you need in case of a clothing mishap, forgotten item or even a veil or sport coat that just won’t cooperate. I come with a goodie bag of safety pins, bobby pins, sewing kit, 3 colors of Rosary beads, a miniature Bible, a booster in case your Son or Daughter isn’t tall enough to see over the kneeler and the list goes on… Moral of the story, if you’ve signed up for professional portraits, that’s exactly what you’ll receive.

Second piece of advice? Despite how “dressed up” you want your child to look, if the clothing or item doesn’t feel right on them; they’re going to be uncomfortable…for a couple of hours, in a church, where they are expected to be respectful. lol- no easy task! Give them a chance to try it on a few weeks in advance and trot around the house feeling “fancy.” If it’s really irritating them, you have time to replace it and save the day as SuperMom or SuperDad.

Lastly, arrive early to your photo session. It gives them an opportunity to shake off the jitters while we chat for a few minutes about why they chose their Rosary beads or how they’re feeling about their part in the ceremony, etc. I’ve learned some very interesting facts from children engaged in conversations about their Rosary Beads. For example, which pair “I can ONLY use for the photo because they were my great, great grandfathers” as opposed to “the pair in my pocket that I lost twice on the way from my house- DON’T tell my MOM!” The smiles are so much better when we have a good laugh before getting behind the camera lens.

Working with kids is amazingly fun if you take a moment to think of this time through their eyes and try to relate to them. If you have any additional questions that I didn’t think to mention, leave me a comment. I’d be glad to share any experiences!

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