Prepping Your Little Ones for Your Session

Taking family pictures is normally not children’s favorite activity. While you get ready for your photo session, here are some tips on prepping your little ones for your session!

Prepare ahead of time

Setting expectation ahead of time is very important. If they are old enough, let them know what is going on, who is taking the pictures, etc. This is key to happy children and great photos!

Before your session, pack a bag with some water and a favorite snack for the children. (It’s not called bribing, it’s called rewarding good behavior!)

For the littlest ones, it’s a great idea to bring a small toy or stuffed animal to get their attention, and get genuine smiles.

It also helps if your kids’ bellies are full and they’ve had some good rest before the session! This will keep them happier throughout, if they aren’t hungry.

Some families like to have a reward for their children if they do well at the session! This is a great idea, whether it’s going out to eat at a favorite restaurant, getting ice cream, or going to a park to play. Knowing something good is coming is a great motivator for great smiles!

Letting your photographer know ahead of time what makes your child smile is also a huge help! For example, my nieces like to stick their tongues out in pictures. Not sure why, but they get great joy out of it! So, my strategy is to have them stick out their tongues for “one picture” and then smile big afterward! Their smiles are so genuine! Obviously that won’t work for every child. If your child likes the song “Baby Shark,” I’m not above singing it so they will smile. I play peekabo, make silly faces, and do what it takes to make them laugh! But it helps if Mom or Dad can tell me what works best.

After Prepping Your Little Ones For Your Session

After you do your best in prepping your little ones for your session, give yourself (and them) some grace! As someone who has a lot of experience working with kids, I realize that children are children! So if they’re “in a mood” or aren’t cooperating perfectly for some reason, rest assured that we photographers are not judging you (or them). We’ve seen it all and know how to get great photos no matter what!

My goal as a photographer is to make this as fun and stress-free as it possibly can be for you and your family! This season of life feels long right now, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s short. So even if things don’t go exactly as planned or as you’d hoped in terms of your kids’ behavior, one day, you’ll be so glad you took these photos!

Want more tips for your family session? Check them out here!

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