i was asked to do a lifestyle family portrait recently but turned it down.. my everyday photography can be of newborn to 4yr olds but mostly 2-3yrs shot in a mobile studio environment.. sometimes children with behavioural issues too so more than a photographer i would say im an entertainer as i need to make the children feel comfortable
.. the client who wanted the aforementioned shoot (for her two small children and some older family members) made it clear she didnt want forced smiles or looking at the camera and as i described my way of working/entertaining sometimes using props she clearly wanted something else.. initially i thought i would aim to be less outgoing and not so engaging but i thought i would feel lost not being myself.. i really wasnt sure how i would direct such a shoot... so basically id like some advice from other photographers on how they would handle a shoot like this... your replies would be much appreciated
The hardest lesson to learn can be that not everyone is your client. The lady has seen your work I assume so subconsciously at least that is what she will be expecting only on her terms. Which is a recipe for disaster if you are not careful.
To answer your question though I nod sagely, then ignore them. Yes of course I take on board what they say but at the end of the day in a shoot environment with limited time available even this style of image is staged to a degree. You could also mix it up. Suggest starting or finishing with the way you work whichever you think will give the best results. They will buy the staged ones once they see the difference regardless of what get asserted at the consultation.