Stress-Free Family Photos: Tips From a Photographer

Planning Ahead for Family Photos

Stress-free family photos. Sound amazing, doesn’t it? You see, family portraits don’t have to be stuffy or stressful. In fact, I want my clients to feel comfortable and at ease in front of my camera. This allows us to capture the treasured moments with their loved ones.

Before a session starts, please tell your photographer any concerns you have. Ideally when booking. Whether you have a grandmother with limited mobility or a child with special needs, just let us know. By planning ahead, I can guarantee to provide your family with the best service.

Pro tip: Arrive early, especially if you aren’t familiar with the location. Any late time will eat into your session time. No one wants that!

In case you missed it- I recently announced that I am closing my Dayton studio. However, I will still be available for studio sessions in Lebanon and Centerville! And I’ll of course still be shooting in Dayton outdoor locations.

Preparing Children for Family Portraits

As a family photographer (and mom,) I’m used to handling kids who don’t want to listen and sit still during a session. I like to let them run around a bit if it helps. Plus, it often shows off their personality more authentically.

When little kids are involved, I recommend parents try their best to get remain calm. Rather than scolding, try to keep the momentum going.

Mommas, I know how it feels to be irritated and sweaty from trying to get your kiddos to sit still. I’ve been there! Elliot seemed to throw a tantrum right as the photographer came into view during our latest family photos.

I totally understand and respect when my clients need to discipline their children for bad behavior. But if possible, consider postponing any reprimand until after the session. It’s hard for a kid to come back from crying and getting in trouble, to smiling and taking a good photo. 

Additionally, a little bribery never hurt anyone… haha! No, but really, sometimes it helps to tell your kids something fun they will get as a reward for good behavior come picture day. Maybe start talking about the upcoming photo session a few days before. Express your expectations for how they should behave in order to receive their prize. 

Pro tip: Let kids bring a favorite toy or stuffed animal to a session. Something familiar can help them feel more at ease in a new environment.

Bringing Pets to Family Photos

If you’re stressed about your family photos because you want to bring your pet, don’t be! It can be easier than you’d think to handle these sessions.

Many of my clients want to include their furry family members in their portrait sessions, whether in a studio or outdoors. I love capturing my clients with all the members of their families. Even those on four legs.

 Whether it be a senior session, family session or even a wedding day, I embrace their choice to include their pets. As a pet owner myself, I know it means they love their dogs like I do and consider them part of the family.

If you’ve never brought along your pets to a family portrait session, fear not. I have a handy guide that’ll give you all the must-know tips for including your pets in family photos. Get all the information here.

Preparing for your family for photos will make all the difference between a hectic, stressful session or a relaxed, enjoyable time together. I understand the realities of smiling through your frustration. But documenting your family’s milestones, moments and time together is so special.

Try these tips before your next portrait session. Let me know if they helped your crew enjoy stress-free family photos.



2 thoughts on “Stress-Free Family Photos: Tips From a Photographer

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