4 tips to rock your family photography session

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My kid hates getting his picture taken!

If you’ve said this before, it may be true. I don’t know too many people, kids or adults, who LOVE getting their picture taken, especially during a professional family photography session. For adults, it’s often because they don’t know what to do, how to stand, or what the heck to do with their hands!! And they’ve maybe never had anyone coach them through it before. Of course younger kids hate getting their picture taken for much different reasons. It’s probably not even the actual act of taking the picture. 

Here are my top four family photography tips I give any family with young kiddos before a family session:

Make sure your child’s tummy is full!

And that he/she has had the proper nap or rest they would get on a normal day. Ideally this would be close to the photography session, but not so close that we’re waking them up 🙂 Bring some snacks or small toys along if they need a break. I would keep these as a back up rather than something they have in their hands right away. 

Set their expectations before the session

If they’re old enough, talk about the session ahead of time, and promise them something fun afterwards. Tell them they’re going to have some fun playing with mommy and daddy while someone takes their picture, and then afterwards we can _______ (go to the park, get some ice cream, go to your favorite restaurant, etc.). 

Let your photographer do most of the talking and the “SAY CHEESE”-ing

It can be helpful to have a family member stand right behind the photographer to get a young child’s attention, but most of the time, too many people telling a child to smile or look at the camera will get overwhelming. It often has the opposite effect. When I have a child who is uncomfortable with me and my camera, it’s often because they don’t understand what’s happening. I’ll often take a picture of them and show them the back of the camera. I sometimes have them press the button for their own picture of mom and dad! Then, I’ll talk to the kids while I’m taking their picture — using different techniques to get them to smile, often with mom and dad’s help! 

Bring a ‘babysitter’

Finally, if you have multiple kids under the age of 6, consider bringing a ‘babysitter.’ This could be a grandparent or a friend along who can spend time with any child who might need a break. 

If you follow these tips, you might be pleasantly surprised how well your child cooperates! I work with families and kids all the time and have a few tricks up my sleeve, so please feel free to contact me if you have any other questions. As a tennis teacher, former nanny and autism therapist, pro babysitter and big sister, I can handle almost anything kids throw at me (sometimes literally!). I would love to capture this special season in your life. Click here for more information on my family sessions.


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