How to get the best pictures of your kids

My best tips to make sure your session is smooth sailing!

Rapid City Children's photographer black and white portrait of preschool girl

Prepping your kids for a photo session is all about setting the stage for a successful and enjoyable experience. By communicating, setting expectations, choosing the right time, and prioritizing comfort, you can help your littles feel at ease and ready to shine in front of the camera. Remember to encourage their natural expressions, be patient, and, most importantly, have fun! My goal is that these precious moments captured by me will become treasured memories that you and your family will cherish for a lifetime.

  1. Communicate and Set Expectations: Before the photo shoot, have a conversation with your children to explain what’s going to happen. Help them understand the purpose of the shoot and emphasize that it’s a fun and exciting experience. Talk about how they can cooperate with the photographer and follow instructions, without putting too much pressure on them. With younger kids, act out how they think the session will go–they love the chance to play photographer.
  2. Choose the Right Time: Selecting the right time for the shoot is crucial, as tired or hungry children are less likely to cooperate. Plan the session when your children are well-rested and well-fed, ensuring they have the energy and patience to participate enthusiastically. If you’re on vacation, plan a low-key day of activities before your session.
  3. Dress Comfortably: While you may be tempted to dress your kids in elaborate outfits, prioritizing comfort is essential. Opt for clothing that your children feel comfortable and confident in. Avoid scratchy materials or clothes that restrict movement, as this could make them fidgety or unhappy during the shoot.
  4. Incorporate Familiar Props or Toys: Bringing along their favorite toys or props can make the photo shoot more enjoyable for your children. These items can provide a sense of comfort and familiarity, and they can also be incorporated creatively into the shots. Let me know if your kiddo has a special prop that we could incorporate.
  5. Plan for Breaks and Snacks: It’s important to remember that children have shorter attention spans, so planning breaks during a photo shoot is necessary. Giving them time to play, relax, or have a snack can help them recharge their energy and maintain their enthusiasm and cooperation throughout the session. I often suggest that parents go for a longer session versus a mini-session if they feel it might take a while for their kids to warm up. Bring a snack that isn’t too messy (not chocolate or bright candy that can stain those sweet faces).
  6. Encourage Natural Expressions and Poses: Encourage your children to be themselves during the shoot. Natural expressions and poses capture their true personalities and make for more authentic photographs. Allow them to have fun, be silly, and express their unique personalities. This will help create genuine and heartfelt moments.
  7. Be Patient and Have Fun: Around here, we like unpredictable, imperfectly perfect photos. Embrace the imperfections and keep a positive attitude throughout the session. The more relaxed and patient you are, the more at ease your children will feel. Let the shoot be a fun experience for everyone involved, and the results will undoubtedly reflect that joy.
Little boy in cowboy hat with arms out while dancing. Sylvan Lake in Custer State Park, SD is behind him.

Some things I do to make sessions more fun for kids: we play games, we run around, we play music and have dance parties. I’ll do just about anything for the picture, and I’m never above a little good old-fashioned bribery. If you want to have fun making some memories with your kids, drop me a line.

leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *