Family Photographer Guide For Happy Kids During Family Photos
Do you need some advice on how to ensure you have happy kids during family photos?
As a family photographer and a mom of two little ones, I know that taking family photos can be stressful. My kids like to wait until the exact moment our photographer arrives to start acting wild. So to help all the mommas out there, I came up with seven ways to prepare yourself and your kids for stress-free (and hopefully tear-free) family photo sessions.
I’ve been a family photographer for over 15 years, so I have a few tricks up my sleeve to get great photos of happy kids – even if things feel hectic in the moment.
A huge weight off your shoulders is that I’m now offering a client wardrobe collection. Having to figure out what to wear is now one less thing you have to worry about!
Read on to see my seven tips for happy, smiling kiddos!
Happy Kid Tips:
- Bring CLEAN snacks. Sometimes all that’s needed to bring the smiles back is a little snack. Make sure to pack clean snacks that won’t leave behind a mess on clothes, fingers or mouths.
- A little bribery never hurt anyone. If you’re not above bribery, tell your kids that they will get a special treat if they behave during the session. Tell them this before the session starts and then remind them of this during the session when things are on the verge of going downhill.
- Take a break. Whether it be for a snack, a little screen time or to just let them run around, give your kids a break to get their energy out. Sometimes a break can be the key to getting happy kids during family photo sessions!
- Give a little space. When I’m getting solo shots of the kids, it’s often best if the parents stay back. This gives me the chance to chat with the kids and get them to look at the camera, not you. Sometimes it’s great to have your help getting your child’s attention. In that case, just make sure to be very close to me and the camera so they aren’t looking off to the side.
- Wait on the discipline. I know how difficult it can be to let things slide in the moment if your kids are acting out, but it’s best to wait until after the session to enforce discipline. We want to keep the tears away because the red faces will last and can’t be edited out once they start. This can be a good opportunity to remind them that family photography sessions are a fun time, so they look forward to, and behave well, in future sessions.
- Most important shots first. Before the session, I like to determine the top two shots that are most important to the family – usually the full family and sibling photos. Starting with these shots ensures we’ll be able to get them.
- Perfectly imperfect. Parents, this one is for you. Be okay with not perfectly posed photos! Remember to keep a smile on your face even if little ones are running around like mad. It’s ok! Some of those “messy” moments make the most beautiful photographs. You want to look happy in the photos when we capture that magic moment.
One of the best compliments I get from parents time and time again is the moment they see their photos and say, “I can’t believe you got anything from that session, let alone these amazing photos!”
It’s common to feel like the photos are going to look as crazy as they feel in the moment. The key is to hire a seasoned professional family photographer. They know how to direct clients and patiently wait to capture those magic moments that happen in every family session.
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