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Preparing Your Children for a Successful Photo Session

3 Simple (Yet Effective!) Tips that are proven to work for children of all ages!

Expecting mom, two older children, daughter making her brother smile
"Here brother, this is how you smile"

As someone who has spent over a decade in the world of childcare, I've gathered a few tricks to ensure your children (of any age!) enjoys themselves.

Setting the Stage with Positivity

Every session starts with a mindset, and mine is one of calmness and genuine enthusiasm. They say it's hard to stay in a bad mood around someone who radiates sunshine, and I fully embrace that philosophy. Turning frowns into straight face is just the beginning; the real magic is in creating an atmosphere where the smiles come from naturally. So leave your grumpy husbands and cranky toddlers moods, up to me!

Using Discipline for smiles DOESN'T WORK!

"If you don't sit there nice and smile, no (insert favorite thing) when we get home." or "If you won't cooperate, you'll be in trouble at home" Have you been that parent? Mine were. Some of my clients were. And let me tell you, that statement gets a lot of forced and fake smiles. Why? Because who would be in a good mood if discipline were being used as motivation?

Adequate Sleep

This tip literally works for everyone: GET PLENTY OF SLEEP! Try to go to bed early the night before your session. The better the sleep, the better you will feel. We all know that already, right? So remind your teenagers not to scroll on TikTok into the wee hours of the morning (and you too! Lol)

Napping Little One?

Over the years, I have attempted to figure out the best times to schedule photo sessions when they include toddlers. There's no perfect time of day, because everyone's lives are different. But, more often than not, BEFORE nap time, is the sweet spot. And I'm not talking about the hour leading up to naptime either, because that's when toddlers turn into tornados LOL Sessions that happen after naps are a total crap-shoot for what mood we'll get from little ones. Especially if they have to meet a new person upon waking up.

Full Bellies & A Little Bribery

Food is more than just fuel; it's the secret ingredient to vibrant energy and happy moods. I always encourage a light meal or snack before your session. I'll almost always have kid-friendly snacks and water bottles with me to share! I'm not above a little bribery either, and who could blame me? From using Miss Rachel and cartoons to keep wandering eyes focused to candy bars or a shopping trip. I'm happy to pick up some favorite chocolate or sugary drink (with your approval of course!) to convince your kiddos that photographers are cool and not scary. Teenagers, the tricky bunch, might sway towards junk food or a shopping spree - only the parents will know what will work for ensuring their cooperation.

Having your photos taken should be more than just a planned event; it should be a fun family experience. And preparing your children the right way, will guarantee a successful photo session. Whether you're telling your toddler about the upcoming 'adventure' or finding creative ways to engage your teenager, the key lies in preparation that grows excitement. Remember, the magic of photography often begins with creating a positive atmosphere. Let's embark on this journey together, ensuring each photo session is not just a quick snapshot but beautiful memories carved into time.

Share these tips, spread the joy and let those smiles shine!

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