When I was approached by the lovely Vicki of Dover & Madden to photograph my kidlets in some of her hand knitted hats I jumped at the chance to get my hands on some of her wooly masterpieces. What I hadn’t factored into the equation was that my little man now had the necessary coordination to remove things from his head, something which wasn’t an issue a few months ago. When the first hat arrived in the post I tore the package open with much enthusiasm and stuck it on his head. Fox, however, was slightly less enthused. He immediately ripped the hat off. I put it back on. He took it off. I put it back on. Off it came again. We continued this little dance for a good ten minutes, neither one of us willing to give in to the other. I eventually gave up. I could understand his reluctance given the fact that it wasn’t a particularly cold day and that, to him, strapping a bit of knitted fabric to ones head seemed neither sane nor necessary. Even if it was totally adorable. What was I to do? The more I insisted that he wear the hat the more dramatically he resisted. Plus, he’s still far too young for bribery or emotional blackmail.
So, I devised a plan….
I spent 10 minutes every day for a week letting him play with the hats, then, I would sit down and play a game with him. I would put one of the hats on my head and pull funny faces and make silly sounds, then I would put the hat on him. At first it seemed to make no difference but slowly, slowly he started to become more comfortable with wearing them. At the end of the week when it came time to take some photos he was quite happy to wear them for a good ten minutes or so. Another thing I found handy (and this would be usefully if you don’t have a week to spare) was some new toys and a bird whistle. The new toys were a handy distraction and every time I felt his attention was wandering back to the thing on his head I would blow the whistle and he would forget about again it for a while. The whistle was also excellent for getting him to look in the direction of the camera when his mummy-voice filters were on.