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Preparing Children for Family Photo Sessions

Updated: Oct 17, 2023

I get it, friends, prepping for family photos is not an easy task. As moms we are pros at multitasking, getting shit done and putting everyone else's needs ahead of our own. So why is it that when we book a family session for ourselves it's so darn stressful? I think it's because we see the beauty in our own families and want it so badly to be captured in photos but when the time comes it's out of our control. Hey, I get it mama, trust me. First things first, let's try and get these kiddos prepped for the session! Here are my top tips to help you prepare your children for photos:

1. Trust your photographer! Lifestyle photography gives us the freedom to relax and let go of perfection. My job isn't to make you look perfect or to make your children behave perfectly. My job is to show you that your children are just perfect just the way they are! I won't expect your child to smile and take direction during the session, I just want them to be themselves! 2. Let them know what is going to happen! It's important to be upfront with children! As the session date nears, let them know a friend will be taking your photos, let them know where you will be going and that you're going to have fun and play while I take your photos. Let them know that I'll be asking you to stand or sit in certain ways and that you expect them to be in those photos. And let them know it won't take very long. 3. Show them old family photos, whether from albums or from your phone gallery. My kids love looking at old photos of themselves so sometimes this will help get them pumped up to create more photos! 4. Make sure that they are fed and rested. Feed them dinner/breakfast or a big snack before the session so they aren't hangry. Hungry kids are never easy to work with. (Also make sure you are fed and rested!) 5. Show them my photo on my website. This makes me more "human" and even if you show them my Instagram feed and they see photos of my children it can help put them at ease. 6. Offer them a reward for tolerating the session the day of. Maybe something small such as, "maybe if the session goes well for all of us we can spend some time after playing at the park!" Something small that you can all experience as a family. 7. Remember that children feed off our energy, so definitely prepare your children, but also prepare yourselves! If they see "Mom and Dad are not happy because I won't smile," they definitely will not smile for the camera! Remember that my style is laid back, so let the kids be as they are, and you focus on letting go of the perception on perfection! Let's have fun and create magical photos together! I hope this has helped ease a tiny bit of that anxiety that comes with planning family photos! Erica

Here is a photo taken by the talented Krista Hawlyruk of my own family a few years back. I had zero expectations and trusted her and she got smiles and moments I'll always want to remember!

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