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How to Survive (and Enjoy!) a Photoshoot with Children

Mother, father, and their son and daughter sitting on a log in front of a green field

Whether you've scheduled newborn, milestone, or family photos, you may be wondering what to do if you show up for your session and your little one doesn't want to cooperate. I completely understand how this can be stressful – after all, you are paying for professional photos and you want to ensure you get what you paid for! In this blog post, I'll share 6 practical things you can do to reduce the stress from your child's photography session, so you can not only enjoy it, but you can walk away with photos you love and will enjoy for years to come!

Manage Your Expectations for Your Photoshoot with Children

The first step to getting through a photoshoot with children is to manage your expectations. As a long-time photographer, I can tell you that most sessions involving children aren't 100% drama-free. If you go into the shoot expecting there to be a little chaos (meltdowns, fussing, distracted kiddos, or little ones who simply can't sit still), then you'll automatically be better off. When you expect things won't go perfectly, you'll be more mentally prepared to handle whatever comes your way, and you may even be able to approach the chaos with a shrug and a smile!

Pack Snacks Your Kids Will Enjoy

A pretty common complaint among my little clients is hunger. If you come prepared with a few non-messy snacks (like string cheese, applesauce pouches, fruit snacks, or pretzels), you may be able to stave off those grumbling tummies and tantrums just a bit longer in order to finish up the lovely photoshoot you planned. I typically recommend your kiddos have a full tummy before their session as well, but packing a snack and being extra prepared definitely won't hurt!

Little boy wearing a backwards Nike hat and eating a donut

Bring Entertainment to Keep Smiles On Faces

Kids live in a world that is all fun, all the time–and a photoshoot may not be on their list of fun activities. I recommend bringing a little entertainment for the kids (bonus points if it photographs well) so they can stay occupied and happy. Here are a few ideas I have for toys you could bring to keep them entertained:

  • Bubble wand

  • Pinwheel

  • Toy train or truck

  • Favorite stuffed animal or doll

  • Stacking blocks

  • Anything else you can think of that's compact and fun!

Bring Back-Up Outfits – Just In Case!

Nothing ruins the mood on a photoshoot set faster than spilling something on your perfectly planned outfit. I recommend that you pack an extra outfit for anyone that will be in the photos, that way if there's any kind of accident (spit-up, a blowout, a messy snack, grass stains, etc.) you'll all be covered–literally! And the worst that could happen is you don't end up using the extra outfits and they end up going right back in the closet when you get home. But walking into your session with a little peace of mind can do WONDERS for your ability to relax and enjoy the photoshoot.

Father lifting his smiling little boy up in the air

Embrace the Chaos – It's More Fun That Way!

Some of the best and most memorable photos can often come from the chaos. Is your little one feeling extra energetic at their shoot? Hold them upside down for a fun, giggly candid shot! Is your baby feeling extra clingy and nervous? Embrace the cuddles and get in the photos with them. Is your little one fussy and crying? Embrace the wild ride and capture the memories anyway–I promise that one day you'll look back and laugh!

Trust That Your Photographer Knows What They're Doing

And finally, ultimately, lean on your photographer and their expertise to help you get through the session as smoothly as possible. They should be trained to get the best possible photos, to help you navigate the process, and to make suggestions as to how best to handle various situations. If you're nervous about how your session will go, don't be afraid to ask your photographer questions about how they run their sessions before your scheduled date. They should have tips on how they work, how they handle different moods, and may even have additional tips for how you can prepare for yours!

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Are you interested in scheduling your Colorado Springs photography session? I offer photography sessions for Maternity, Newborn, Children/Milestones, & Family. Click Here


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