September 16, 2021
Every parent has that image of the perfect family photo in their head—everyone is smiling and posed in a beautiful natural background with great lighting. But every photographer and every parent knows and can tell you, that getting that “perfect picture” is not always easy. Between meltdowns, tears, and distractions, it can be quite a challenge to get your kids to sit still, much less smile for the camera.
To help your photo session go more smoothly and to make the chances of getting that “perfect picture” higher we have put together a few tips to make your session as stress-free as possible and to help Mom and Dad stay sane at the same time.
Pick a fun location—but not too fun.
Choosing a location for your family photos means striking a balance. You may want to choose a place that is new and exciting, but not so exciting that your kids will be distracted. One of my favorite places to do photo sessions are large parks with lots of walking trails but that also have a playground. This way you can say “okay kids, we are going to get family pictures done and if you do a good job and listen to the photographer, we will spend x minutes at the playground afterwards.” This is a great incentive for kids to get through the session because what kid does not like playing at the playground?
Another option for location is somewhere more familiar. Somewhere you and the children have been, and they are comfortable with like a favorite park or even your own backyard. Thank you, your kids’ personalities and what type of location would make them, feel comfortable and more likely to relax.
Choosing a location for your family photos means striking a balance. You may want to choose a place that is new and exciting, but not so exciting that your kids will be distracted. Or you may feel more comfortable choosing somewhere more familiar, like a favorite park or your own backyard. Think about your kids’ personalities and what type of location would make them feel comfortable and more likely to relax.
Stock up on snacks.
As a parent, you are probably used to taking snacks with you everywhere. A family photo session is no different, and your photographer will want to take some breaks for snacks and drinks. Just be sure to avoid anything messy or anything that will stain your kids’ lips and tongue. Fruit snacks, Cheerios, apple slices, and veggies are all good, clean choices! These also make great incentive treats. They get “xyz” snack or treat after 1-2 pictures. It gives them a break to get wiggles out and keeps them from getting hangry and it gives the parents a break to relax while they eat and when kids are happy parents are happy and the more relaxed the parents are the more relaxed the kids will be.
Let your kids be kids.
Do not set unrealistic expectations for your photo shoot. If you have young children, chances are they will not want to sit still for photos and will maybe even be running around half the time. Do not fret! Just enjoy the moment and let your photographer capture your family as you really are. As your photographer, our goal is to capture your memories, your personalities, and your life. So yes, we may try for posed pictures, but it will be those special moments where they are in the moment unposed and the candid moments that you will end up loving the most. Do not get me wrong, posed pictures are great. But the best thing you can do to make your session go smoothly is just take a deep breath and let the kids be kids.
Pack plenty of baby wipes.
Even if your little ones are out of diapers, be sure to bring some wipes. Kids are messy, and they may get into dirt, leaves, sand, or any number of things during your photo session. Keep some wipes ready to wipe those hands and faces.
Do not feel like you must pose and smile at the camera for every single photo. Tickle your kids, hug your spouse, and snuggle up together as a family. The photographer will be snapping photos the whole time and will love the chance to capture your candid love and joy—and you will love having natural, happy photos of your whole family.
If you treat your family photo session more like a fun outing than a task, your whole family will have more fun, and your photographer will be able to capture genuine, joyful smiles! The biggest thing to remember is that the attitude and mood of the parents will affect the attitude and mood of the children. They will sense it and it will affect them as well as the whole photoshoot. Be calm, relax, bring snacks, let them be kids and enjoy just being in the moment with your family and let the photographer do the rest.
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Reflections by Luna
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