How to survive a family photoshoot with young kids

tips for making a family photo session go smoothly

I think we all know that for the most part, family photoshoots are for Mom. She’s the one who really wants them, and she’s the one who makes it happen. Dad and the kids are usually just along for the ride. Even though they’d probably be doing anything else, there are a few things you can do to help your kids enjoy (or at least let you survive) the picture-taking process!

5 tips for surviving a photoshoot with young kids by Anne Jensen Photography

1. Prepare them. 
Make sure your kids know well ahead of time what is going on, and what is expected of them. They need to know how long the session will take, and older kids can understand that the more they cooperate the sooner the session can end.

2. Feed them.
We all know what it’s like to be hangry, don’t we? To ensure it’s not a problem with your kids, pack a snack they can have on the way, or even during the session. Just as long as it’s not sticky or staining 😉

3. Let the photographer be in charge.
I know, it’s hard not to say anything, but as a photographer it’s much harder to get the images you need when parents are saying “say cheese!”, “sit up straight”, “why are you smiling like that?”. That’s not to say you can’t help, but ask your photographer what would be most helpful. Mom or Dad playing peek-a-boo behind the photographer is a big hit with babies!

4. Leave them alone.
When I am photographing children, whether individually or with siblings, it is always easier to do so if the parents step away. It seems like most kids (mine included) behave better for others than they do for their parents. I like to engage in conversation with kiddos to get natural expressions, and sometimes they are too shy to open up around mom and dad.

5. Be patient. 
Your photographer doesn’t expect your kids to behave perfectly, and neither should you. The last thing you want is tension between you and one of your kids because you are fed up with them. It will most likely show in your images, and who wants a permanent reminder of that?

5. Reward them.
You’re all dressed up for the pictures, so why not make a night of it? After your session, take the kids out to a favorite restaurant, or someplace special for a sweet treat. Sometimes knowing they have something fun waiting is enough to keep them motivated.

Have any tips of your own to share? Please add them in the comment section!

5 tips for surviving a photoshoot with young kids >> Anne Jensen Photography

13 comments
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  • HeidiJanuary 31, 2015 - 12:22 am

    Great tips! During a session I always think that I need to provide a tip sheet and always quickly forget until the next session! lol!ReplyCancel

  • ShannonJanuary 31, 2015 - 3:43 am

    Wonderful tips!ReplyCancel

  • Angela KayJanuary 31, 2015 - 8:43 pm

    So true! Great advice, and beautiful pictures!!ReplyCancel

  • RebekahFebruary 1, 2015 - 3:35 am

    What a cute family!ReplyCancel

  • HeatherFebruary 1, 2015 - 2:45 pm

    this is such great advice!ReplyCancel

  • Beth AnnFebruary 1, 2015 - 4:39 pm

    Great tips for families!ReplyCancel

  • LauraFebruary 1, 2015 - 8:19 pm

    love these tips! And would totally love to share them on my page if that is ok with you!ReplyCancel

  • JessicaFebruary 2, 2015 - 12:07 am

    Thank You! Great advice 🙂ReplyCancel

    • annejphotoFebruary 2, 2015 - 12:11 am

      Of course, share away!ReplyCancel

  • RobinFebruary 2, 2015 - 2:04 pm

    These are great tips! Beautiful work!ReplyCancel

  • Angela L.February 2, 2015 - 5:27 pm

    Yes, yes yesReplyCancel

  • MelissaFebruary 8, 2015 - 5:29 pm

    These are all GREAT words of advice to read before a photo session! Great post!ReplyCancel

  • NafaFebruary 15, 2015 - 4:53 am

    Great tips, couldn’t agree more 🙂ReplyCancel