How to: Have a smooth photography session with kids

We have all been there. All we want is a few great photos of our beautiful kids – the thought of those canvases hanging on our walls. Ahhh, it just makes us happy. Until the moment comes. Cue six trips to the store for coordinating outfits and then fighting them to wear it since it doesn’t have Elsa or Ana, and not to mention the day of when they wake up crabby and by the time of your session, you want to throw in the towel all together. Just photos, right? Who needs the struggle. BUT, it doesn’t have to be this way! We have a few suggestions for you – whether doing your own at home session or a session with a photographer – hopefully these tips will help you!

First, make it FUN. This is basic psychology. You have to think like a kid. Would you want to be yelled at sixteen times and then still be expected to stand there and wear a picture-perfect smile? Heck no. Play a game. When I do pictures at home with my own kids, I grab my camera and get it ready and move the game near a window to get great light. We might play I spy out the window and incorporate some peek-a-boo. Maybe a tickle-fest. Come down to their level, it is okay to play!

Next, don’t promise ice cream, cake, and trips to the park to play right out of the gate. This is something that should be offered after they do what you ask willingly. Kids have little minds that get distracted and overwhelmed very easily. If you start offering all the things, the kids will be focused on everything else BUT what we need them to do and then it is just one more distraction at that point.

Finally, if you are working with a photographer, try not to discipline your kids while the person is trying to explain to them what to do. The photographer is probably trying to get to know your kids too and if you step up and start disciplining, they won’t know who to listen to. Have you ever noticed your kids listen to their grandparents or teachers perfectly fine until you come into the room? They get confused about who the authority figure is and then it all flies out the window.

These are just some of the tricks that we use to work with our own kids and the kids we have photographed. We have played outside, danced, all sorts of things. If you make it fun, your kids will be more willing to have photos taken the next time. Remember, sometimes it just takes finding your inner child and having fun too! 🙂

All the best, Marianna

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