You look at an ad with kids doing what you can’t get from yours and wonder….

“How’d they get them to do that?”

That’s where the Kid/BabyWrangler comes in...

...Doing whatever it takes to create the atmosphere that elicits the expressions and actions you need to highlight your product.

Acting as advocate for, and liaison between, the client/photographer and parent/kid, the wrangler knows when a break is needed, when it’s time to switch out this kid for that one, while pulling tricks from pockets to make it happen.

Often unpredictable, the decision of what will work is made on the fly from one moment and kid to another.

So much happens in that moment when the child and I meet. What is it that makes him click? What actions, colors, characters, words speak to her? But what counts most is discovering how I can win their trust so they see me as their friend on the set.

Then I get going, bringing out what is special about each kid—what will sell your product while making sure they leave with a memorable experience.

The before and after, as important as the during...

A toddler holds a prototype of a microphone, not yet manufactured. It’s just a model, but we’re pretending the music is streaming from his hand as we dance and we sing. He is totally into his performance, and we‘re having a blast, and that blast is captured in the shot…. Click

A preschooler holds her baby doll so it’s right for the camera and her gaze is where it should be. With a twinkle in her eye, and a happy, loving expression, she’s feeling proud and delighted with the moment…That’s it. We got it!

It’s a stumble or guffaw, a silly sound, mimicked gesture from behind the camera, a tickle from out of sight under a chair or a dangled item from up a ladder. Sometimes, but rarely, just a thumbs up. Whatever it takes, directing with humor, understanding and trust…it happens.

Eight kids have been cast for that one shot we’re after.

That one image that will melt a million hearts.

This is where decades as stylist, dancer, clown and mom unite.

It can’t be forced, but in orchestrating the moment...

 The WOW is born.

Photography by Cheryl Clegg