Do you have a family photo session coming up and wondering how to prepare for it? Maybe you have kids, and the thought of keeping them entertained and cooperative for 30 minutes or more makes you feel a little nervous. No worries! I’ve been photographing families for over 14 years, and here are some of my tried-and-true tips for preparing your family for your photo session.

Schedule the session when the kids are less likely to be irritable.

Most kids have a time or two of the day when they’re a little more likely to be irritable. Some kids are happier and more energetic in the morning, while others are a little more happy-go-lucky in the afternoons. Maybe your child gets a little cranky in that hour leading up to naptime. Regardless, try to schedule your photo session with your photographer when your kids are less likely to be irritable and cranky.

Feed them.

Whether you have a baby, toddler, or child, feed them before your photo session. No one is happy and carefree when they’re hungry, right? And your kids will be much more cooperative if they have full bellies. 

Pro Tip: Bring snacks! Just in case someone gets a little hangry during the photo session, you can always whip out their favorite snack. But a couple of quick notes about snacks:

  • Avoid sugar. We all know how hyper kids can get when they’ve eaten sugar. Yes, you want your kid in a great mood for the photo session, but you probably don’t want him bouncing off the walls and running around like crazy.
  • Avoid chocolate or anything else that could potentially create a mess. I doubt you want to mess up your little one’s (or yours) outfits!

Bring toys.

Every child, especially the younger ones, has a favorite toy or two that makes them light up. So bring 1-2 of your child’s favorite toys with you to the photo session. We can take it out if he or she starts to look uninterested and unenthused about what’s going on. Having your child interact with his/her favorite toy not only gives your photographer a chance to snap photos of their smiles and carefree face, but it also makes for great photo opportunities.

Make a game of it.

Instead of standing around looking at your child and saying “Cheese!”, make a game of it! Run around, play tag, play peek-a-boo, etc. You’re more likely to get those genuine smiles and belly laughs when your kid thinks they’re playing a game with you.

Do something fun afterward.

Think of something fun to do as a family after the photo session. It can be as simple as getting ice cream or a snow cone. Some kids don’t have fun when getting their photo taken, so by offering a reward (and gently reminding them of that reward during the session), you might have a better chance of getting some of those big smiles.

Not all of these tips are going to work for every child every time, but they’re definitely worth a shot. 

Lastly, trust your photographer. She knows what she’s doing. She’s going to capture your family in the best way possible. Personally, I play games, make some silly sounds, and have some other tricks up my sleeve. I’m going to do my absolute best to put you and your family at-ease so the whole session is fun, enjoyable, and comfortable.

If you need some updated family photos, I’d love to talk!

5 Tips to Get Your Kids to Cooperate During Photos | Spartanburg Family Photographer

April 25, 2022