Young children are expressive and genuine with their feelings. That makes for some really remarkable opportunities for great imagery that will capture these moments before they grow. 


Here are five tips to help you prepare kids for a family photo session.


LET THEM KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT


Children will do best if they know what to expect. Letting them know that they are going to the park or the beach for a little while to have their picture taken with their family, how long it may take, and why it is important to document your family’s story will help set them in the right mindset for the photo session. In my experience, it is helpful when children aren’t surprised by a situation. That means they have to process what is going on and decide how they feel about it while they may be meeting their photographer for the first time. 

IT WILL BE FUN!


Let them know how much fun it is going to be. They’re going to have the opportunity to play and run around. The idea of standing and following directions for an hour or two doesn’t sound like fun to anyone, but if they know that they will have an opportunity to have fun, they will look forward to the session. Positive attitudes are contagious. It’s best to avoid warning them what will happen if they don’t behave as that will make them not want to go. 

LET THEM SHOW THEIR PERSONALITIES


Let the kids show their personalities. If they want to be funny or get some wiggles out, let them. Even during the shortest session, we will be able to get the images that we discussed in advance. Giving the kids an opportunity to be themselves keeps them engaged in the session, and it gives me an opportunity to capture their personality.

BRING SOME SNACKS


Bring some snacks, water, and maybe a treat. It is really amazing how a small bribe will allow you to get a few more minutes. I once had a session with a toddler that definitely had enough after a few minutes. After a handful of some breakfast cereal, the toddler was given some time to play around. He jumped in leaf piles, played with his parents, and had a blast. These images not only showed his personality, but they were some of the most valued images to that family.

PLAN ON SOMETHING FUN AFTER THE SESSIONS


Plan to do something fun after your photo session as a reward. A promise to go to the playground, or go to the movies, or stop for an ice cream can be enough of a reward to help your child look forward to the session.


Overall, don't worry about how your children act during the photo session. I am here to capture who they are!