“You smell like poo” is what I shouted to the photographer on a recent photoshoot. I don’t normally say such things out loud, even if they do(!) but needs must in this instance and it was the only way to get my children to smile for the camera! Let me explain…

Never work with children or animals is the saying and you know why when you are trying to get children to do one thing and they are not playing ball! Fiercely independent and knowing their own minds, my kids wouldn’t stand where they were meant to to get the photos we needed when we took part in a shoot for Toyota’s customer magazine recently. Here are my children running around on set!

on a photoshoot

But in the end, we got what we needed, due to a secret pact I’d made with my children. You see, adults doing a job expect the participants in a certain role to play their parts, and spend time shooting take after take, as many times as it needs to get the job done. They expect the participants to act like well, adults. This is certainly appropriate behaviour for workers in an office, but when you are directing children in a photoshoot who have already had a long day at school, you can’t blame them if they act like children!

So how did I get the kids to co-operate with the photographer so he could get the shot he wanted? Well the longer the shoot went on, the more tired and hungry the kids got. The more they had to repeat the steps they’d done a few minutes earlier, the more they were ‘over it’ and wanted to leave, so after bribing them with ice cream and a cinema trip at the weekend if they were good children, what actually worked was me promising to tell the photographer that I thought he smelled like poo!

Here is what we were shooting:
Toyota shootSo we got the shot, I shouted my line and then we were free to go- my children giggling in the back seat all the way home!

It was definitely the most unusual birthday I’ve had!

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