Over the years there are more than a few things that I’ve learned when taking photos for families and their kids. As long as the weather cooperates and everyone is dressed seasonally for the occasion, I’ve found that most kids are perfectly willing to take family photos. Most kids love being outside and some actually do better in an outside environment where they can explore. We live in the Pacific Northwest and as anyone who lives here knows, it’s one of the best places to enjoy nature! So, how do I prep kids for family photos? Don’t worry. We’ve got this. Here’s the secret: go with the flow. Go in to your family photo session with low expectations; patience is key! Refrain from telling anyone, but especially your kids to smile or look at the camera – no, but really. If you want a posed family photo, simply request that on your initial inquiry, and I can make sure to include that in your family photo gallery. A posed family portrait can usually be achieved at the very beginning of a photo session or towards the end. Remember that it can be a lot to listen to multiple people at the same time trying to tell you what to do. Your family photo session will be much less stressful if you simply play, love, snuggle and have fun with your family and your kids. That’s it! Trust that the beautiful, emotion-filled images will happen throughout the process of simply letting everyone be themselves. And most importantly, don’t forget to have fun.
Be intentional with your hands. Connection through images happens when you can communicate closeness with your loved ones. An arm around a waist, a close snuggle with the kiddos, holding hands with your husband or wife.
If kids don’t want to stand still, don’t force them to. Go with their cues and walk and explore with them if they need to. Be enthusiastic and calm when they do! Your moment with them will happen when you least expect it.
Kids can easily be overwhelmed with the expectation of having their picture taken, so sometimes a quick carry, snuggle, or comforting words with Mom or Dad helps. Remember that children always want to feel safe. If they resist, see above and just let them be until they feel more comfortable.
For older kids that are more active and physical, be prepared to move and play. Movement in photos always adds interest and fills up my camera frame in an engaging way.
If you have an activity that is authentic to your family, please feel free to tell me and we can incorporate that into the photoshoot for your family session (ex: guitar, reading, skateboarding, picnic). When kids and parents have something to focus on other than having their picture taken, it creates natural moments.
And now that you’ve read my top secrets for a fun family photo session, visit me online and send me an inquiry online to schedule some time with me.