It’s that time again. Time for your annual family portraits. You know you want them, but you also dread it, knowing that it’s going to be a battle with your kids (aaannnd maybe hubby too!), since they rarely sit still long enough for you to get a quick snapshot of them on your phone! Don’t stress, mommas! I am here to help and give you some ideas and tips on how to prep your kids (and if necessary, your husband as well) for your family photo shoot.

  1. Plan out outfits in advance.

This might seem pretty obvious, yet, a lot of us tend to forget (because we have so many other things to plan for!) and then suddenly, it’s the day of your shoot and you don’t know what everyone is going to wear! I suggest planning out your outfits at least a couple of weeks before your session, so that you know exactly what everyone is going to wear.

But, maybe you aren’t sure how to coordinate the outfits and colors and patterns. Simple solution: ask your photographer. I personally provide my clients with outfit ideas and tips, as well as inspiration using previous photos and color palettes. Yet, even with that, it’s completely fine to text your photographer a photo of what you have in mind to see if it will look good together and on camera. I promise you that a good photographer will not mind in the slightest! I encourage my clients to do so and this is just one way that I try to serve my clients the best that I can.

2. Plan to do something fun the day of your photoshoot.

Instead of just doing the photoshoot, plan to do something fun afterwards, like going out for dinner or ice cream or something. For littles, you can take them to go pick out a toy after the session. If you have older kids, plan a family movie night after your session or some other fun activity that you will all enjoy doing.

There are so many things to do outside as a family such as going to a drive-in movie during summer, checking out a fall festival or pumpkin patch during fall, going to a Christmas tree farm for winter or driving around looking at Christmas lights, and having a picnic during spring! By promising your kids something fun after your session, it will give them something to look forward to and can work as an incentive during your session.

3. Bring snacks + fun, special toy for littles!

Food is almost always a good way to get a little one’s mood to turn around! Since I have littles myself, I try to remember to bring some yummy snacks for the kiddos if I know there will be little ones, just in case! But, since you are the parent, you know what your child likes or doesn’t like.

Something else that helps is bringing your child’s favorite toy or stuffed animal. Bringing a favorite toy or lovey can help comfort a toddler and also can get them to smile at the camera by holding it in the direction of the camera. A toy that makes noise works great for getting a baby’s attention! Of course, there’s always our phones and pulling up their favorite show (my daughter goes nuts when she hears the Cocomelon intro!) to get their attention. Just be honest – we all do it. It’s okay to admit it. I was one of those who said that I would never let my child watch much TV or have a tablet until they were at least 5! Hahahhahahahah! That was before I became a mom and had a toddler and a newborn!

4. Finally, Don’t stress!

I know this is hard to do for mommas sometimes, but I encourage you: don’t stress out and be tense. Our kids pick up on our tension and stress more than we realize and sometimes react to that. Really talk up the day of your session to your kids and make it sound like a fun, exciting thing to do as a family. Enjoy one another and laugh and play with each other during your session! I promise your photographer will get some great shots! I personally like to do a mix of posed and candid shots at my family sessions. I also will do what I can to make y’all laugh, even if I make a fool of myself. It’s okay though, I’m good with it.

One last thought – be prepared that your child, especially if they are toddler age, will most likely cry or maybe even have a little tantrum at some point. Hopefully not, but even if they do, IT IS OKAY. They are just little people with big emotions they don’t understand or know how to express yet, and your photoshoot doesn’t have to be ruined. Try not to let their emotions affect your mood. I know that’s difficult sometimes because I struggle with that myself!

As your photographer, and as a fellow momma of littles, I will try my best to make your child feel comfortable around me and I’ll do my best to coax those adorable smiles and giggles out of them!

At the end of the day, my primary goal as your photographer is to NOT to make sure you have amazing photos (that IS a goal but not the main one!). My primary goal is to make sure that you have an unforgettable, enjoyable experience! I want you to leave your session saying, “That was really fun!” and then get to relive that experience when you see your photos.

Prepping Your Kids for a Photo Session

October 10, 2022

For Clients


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