Hey parents! I get it, family sessions with little ones can be difficult! After investing time and money in your photos, it’s easy to start feeling worried that your children might start acting out during the session. Talk about stress!
Children can pick up on that stress though and can oftentimes act out more because of it! So, here are some tips to help prep your family for a successful session. By prepping your kids for the session, you can relax because I got this!
Ashley Tip #1: Give Yourself Enough Time!
The length of time and location is very important for little ones. Many parents that I talk to believe a short mini session is best because their kids can be “wild” (you know what I’m talking about!!). But with extra time your children open up and start showing their personality more. When families schedule an hour-long photo session, the images we capture towards the end always end up being mom’s favorites. This is where they will start playing and we can capture some genuine, laughing smiles!
When you schedule a shorter session, it adds extra stress on you and your kids to cooperate to get that one perfect photo. You know, the one grandma always wants on her mantle! By allowing more time, I can play and interact with your kids more to get all the shots we need!
Ashley Tip #2: Talk to Your Kids!
Start talking to your children a week or two before the session. Let them know where they will be going and they will be meeting a new friend who wants to play and take their pictures. Make this sound like an adventure for the family! I always ask your children to show me their “picture smile” when they meet me. Start using that phrase before and give lots of praise!
Remember, we want this to be as fun and stress-free as possible! By giving your littles lots of praise and getting them excited, they will show up to the session with that energy! We will do a lot of fun playing, but also get those great fun poses! Let them know I like to see the picture smiles but we will also be playing games. Check out some fun, genuine smiles from my past families in my portfolio!
Ashley Tip #3: Parents, Don’t Stress!
Children pick up their parent’s feelings well!! So if you are stressing before the shoot, the kids are more likely to be grumpy or uncooperative when they get to their session.
My advice! Pick out outfits the night before and make sure everything is together. If you have props, pack them in the car or put them by the door the night before. Look up the location before and give yourself plenty of time to get there before the session.
Be as upbeat and as excited as possible! This will be fun and a great adventure for your family!
Ashley Tip #4: Trust Me
Parents, all you need to worry about is getting the family ready and getting to the session! I can take care of the rest. Let me get to know your kids and make those connections!!
Don’t worry about asking your kids to smile, sit up straight, or stand still. Sometimes this can actually have the opposite effect! At the session, all you have to worry about is smiling and playing with your family. Instead of worrying about your child, play with them! Tell jokes, play games, be with your family! Trust me, I can get those smiles out of littles pretty easy!
Ashley Tip #5: I’m Not Above Bribery
Oh yea!! This one is the deal-breaker right here! Is your child ice cream obsessed? Will they do anything for that toy they have been eyeing? This is your chance to use that as bribery! Encouraging them with a reward after always works in getting your child to cooperate too. Use it as something positive! One of my favorites? Family ice cream night after the session at Cold Stone Creamery!
I hope you found these tips helpful! Above all, your family session should be a fun experience. If your kids want to run around and play the entire session, let them!! My goal is to be able to showcase your family how you actually are (you know, in real life). Relax, and allow me to capture all the moments because this phase goes so fast!
Wondering what to wear for your family portrait session? Check out this post on how to choose your outfits!