Preparing your kids for family photos may feel like a daunting task, but I hope to make this easy for you with a few tips and tricks.
First of all, good for you for making family photos a priority. Your photos are going to mean so much to you and your kids for years to come! Seeing themselves on your wall or in a beautiful album helps them feel like an important part of your family and is a boost to their confidence.
I want to encourage you now to plan on being IN some of the photos with your children. I hear all the time, how Mom thinks she needs to lose some weight or Dad hates being photographed, but let me tell you, your kids don’t care about any of that! They will want to have photos of you together.
These are the photos they will treasure, not just now but later in life as well. So let’s get them prepared for your Family Photo session, so that picture day will go as smoothly as possible!!
Plan your Family Photo Session
The first step we take when you book your session is to have your planning meeting. It’s really important for us to get to know each other a bit before picture day. As your photographer, having some rapport with Mom and Dad helps put your kids at ease.
Your planning meeting gives you a chance to tell me about each child and their personalities, likes and dislikes. I want to help you all enjoy your time together at your photo session. So understanding how your family interacts really helps me capture natural photos and avoid potential pitfalls!
The Right Time of Day for your Kids
We will pick a time of day that will work for your kids. Are they most cooperative and happy after their afternoon nap or in the morning after breakfast?
For the best lighting, I prefer to shoot early in the day or in the last few hours of daylight if possible, BUT if your children are tired at those times, we can find a way to do it when it’s best for them.
Get the Kids Excited about Picture Day!
One of the best ways to prepare your kids for family photos, is to build it up as something really fun that you get to do together. For example you might tell them they’re going on a fun family adventure and that you’re all going to have a great time playing games and meeting a new friend (ME!).
I’m totally excited to get to know them and I understand that kids can be shy, wild, emotional… Its ok! Have them bring a favorite toy along. Often time it puts them at ease and gives them something to share and talk about.
Don’t Worry about Discipline!
Don’t worry about discipline at your family session! Let kids be themselves. I want to keep the mood light and loving and fun. Because I believe it’s more important to capture true personalities than perfect (aka fake) smiles.
We’ll roll with personalities and emotions. If your child is shy, that’s ok. If they love to show off and be silly, we’ll take advantage of that! I want this to be a positive experience for both you and your children!
Trust me, you can’t command a REAL smile. It has to happen naturally. So, although we’re talking about preparing your kids for their photo session, I don’t want you to prep their smiles!! I plan to get you moving and interacting with each other to capture naturally beautiful moments.
We will play games and I’ll give you prompts to help create a memorable time for you all. In between the warm, snuggly and active moments, I’ll do my best to get a few posed and smiling shots.
Finally, if it helps to tell them that when they’re done, they’ll get a special treat, like Ice Cream or the park… then by all means let’s tell them there’s a big treat for them at the end, and that they’ll get to it faster if they cooperate.
Bring along a Helper
Parents, let’s not forget to capture YOU! Consider bringing along a friend, aunt/uncle etc… to distract the little ones while we get a few photos of the two of you together!