How to prepare kids for a photo shoot

For me as a photographer, I am never bothered by kids’ behavior…from those that run wild to others that are super camera shy .  It’s all apart of who the kids are and capturing their personalities is what I’m striving for at every shoot.  But as a mom during a photo shoot it’s STRESSFUL!!!  I get it.  You’ve done all the work…booked the photographer, picked everyone’s outfits, dragged your husband here.  You want the experience to be fun and the pictures to turn out amazing.  Here are a couple of quick tips to make that happen:

Tips for preparing kids for the photoshoot:

  • Make sure kids are comfortable in what they are wearing.  If your child hates what they are wearing it’s going to show in the photos.  That may mean scrapping that adorable hair clip or the sweet bow tie that just makes the outfit perfect…trust me, happy kids make better photos than accessories.  Also, dress with the weather in mind.  You want to make sure your child isn’t too cold or hot. Have all of your outfits picked out before the day of your photo shoot so you are not adding any more stress to your day.
  • Have everyone fed and bring extra snacks.  It’s hard to calm down hangry kids! Make sure they’ve had plenty to eat before arriving and bring lots of extra snacks.  Try to bring snacks that are small and not messy.
  • Bring lots of water!  Most of the time in Texas it’s going to be hot when we’re shooting so bring extra water bottles for everyone in the family (including parents).
  • Talk to your kids before about the photo shoot.  Give your kids a head up before the day of the photo shoot about what we’ll be doing and talk to them about how much fun it’s going to be.  If your child is old enough, set the expectation of how you would like them to behave during the shoot
  • Let your child smile naturally! Ok parents…this is a big one!!! Resist the urge to say things like “Don’t smile like that, give me a real smile”.  The best way to get a ‘real smile’ is to actually make your child laugh or smile.  So instead of telling them how they should look I focus on being silly and eliciting genuine emotions from them.
  • Bribes and Rewards.  Bribes are an excellent way to have children behave nicely during a photoshoot.  Lollipops, toys, ice cream afterwards…anything that you child finds exciting and can be rewarded with after the photo shoot is a great way to get them to comply with all of the things we ask them to do during the shoot.
  • Stay Positive and have fun! Your kids will pick up on your mood so try to take some deep breaths and relax and enjoy the experience.  Nothing needs to be perfect.  I’m capturing your family just as you are at this point in time.


Here is a wonderful example of a beautiful family that had such a great shoot. Much of the credit has to been handed over to mom…handling 3 (rowdy) boys and a sweet little toddler is not an easy task when you are trying to stay calm, cool and collected during a photo shoot.  But she did a great job preparing and you can see it in the beautifully pictures we capture that day.

Photo of 4 happy kids sitting and hugging in the grass Mother and daughter Family photos of 3 boys and a sister All smiles of children close to their dad Mother and father kissing their daughters face Family hugging each other by a stream Mother wading in water with her daughter Children playing in water with parents Photos of dad with his children by water with a sunset Photos of a beautiful mom hugging her young sons Photos of mom holding her daughters hand




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