3 Tips for Getting your Kids to Behave for Pictures

“My kids never behave for pictures!”

This is a concern that many parents express who have small children. And they have every right for the concern as it is a bit challenging to keep the littles from meltdown central. As you are planning for family photos and what to wear, I wanted to give you a few tips that I offer my clients when small kiddos are involved.

1.) Timing

When I am in a consult and discussing the details of a portrait session I always ask what time their children wake up in the morning. I find as a mom that my children tend to be the happiest right after waking up in the morning and having some breakfast. I know it’s not as fun to get up early, but it could prevent some major headaches. Something to consider as well is getting up before your kids do to get yourself ready. That way you can have some alone time for self care and getting things packed up without the stress of managing the kids as well.

2.) Location

It may not seem like it should be a big deal, but sometimes the location of your portrait session could give your children some fear. I always suggest that they bring something along that soothes them. Blanket, stuffed animal or toy. If you are meeting your photographer on location, the best thing you can do is to keep them strapped in the car until your photographer is ready to start capturing them.

3.) Snacks, bathrooms & expectations

I don’t know about you, but it seems like my kids turn into bottomless pits as soon as they wake. Wherever they go they always need something to eat and something to drink. Be sure to pack clean & easy snacks to bring along to help keep them happy. When you are meeting on location it’s always a good idea to know if there will be bathrooms close by and to make sure they go before leaving. As fall approaches many restrooms at parks are closed, so picking a location that has facilities close by is always helpful! Expectations. Your expectations may have to be adjusted. Kids are unpredictable and sometimes they just do what they please, despite all the tricks us photographers have up our sleeves. We sure do give it all we have to keep them engaged and happy. Energy is paramount. Staying calm and collected is important. Kids are able to feel it if you are stressed or frustrated, so remaining positive even when things don’t go the way you planned them to is important. As parents, especially mom’s, we put so much pressure on ourselves to have events turn out exactly as we see them in our minds. Just remember that even if your kiddos are having a bad day or they are not cooperating during a photoshoot, it’s best to “reset.” That may mean taking a little walk and moving around a bit or maybe letting them do something they want to do for a bit. Feel free to bring along some rewards for good behavior and be sure to encourage it. The rewards could be anything you see fit. I keep a special prize box with dum dum’s and non-sugar prizes that I entice kids with for good listening skills!

Now take a deep breath and know that it will all work out!!

Tune in next week for the last blog in this series with some great ideas on what to do with your photos after you take them!

In the meantime, feel free to check our website if you feel that you could use some more information about being photographed by me! And if you like all these tips and want to learn more, be sure join our Facebook Group !

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2 Responses

  1. I like that you provided some tips on how to get your kids to behave during a photo shoot such as having the perfect timing. You may want to consider what time of the day your children feel happiest. This may just turn out to be the best time to get their pictures taken as well. It would probably be better for the parent to adjust to their child during moments like this. It’s all worth it, anyway! If I were to take photos of my children, I would make sure to take this into account. Thanks.

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