How to prepare your kiddos for a photo shoot

We as photographers have learned to have fun with the kids no matter if they are wild and care free or a little camera shy. Capturing each little personality is what we aim to do. We are also parents and as moms we totally get the crazy stress that come with planning your kids photo shoot! And wanting the perfect Pinterest worthy image.  We want you to experience the fun and walk away with images you are in love with. In order to do that we have to be prepared to keep the kiddos happy and having fun too. Here are a few quick tips to help make it happen:

  • Make sure everyone has a full belly and bring snacks!  Calming hungry kids is nearly impossible! Make sure their belly is full before arriving and bring a variety of extra snacks. Try to bring snacks that are small and not messy.
  • Bring plenty of water!  The weather here in Alabama is unpredictable but usually super hot during summer months. Bring plenty of water for each family member. (including parents).
  • Let us capture your child's natural smile! Ok parents…we are on the kids side here!!! Please do your best to refrain from the urge to say things like “That's not a real one, give me a real smile”. The best way to get that genuine smile we are hoping for is to create a real moment that makes your kids smile or laugh naturally. So instead of pressuring them to look a certain way focus on being silly and fun to help create real emotion and a less stressful session for you and them. We don't want them to hate photo sessions. We want them to be excited and every time they will do better and better as our comfort levels grow.
  • Keep it fun and the energy positive! Kids pick up on your mood. If you need to step back and take a few breaths to keep the energy positive it is totally fine. We are mothers before anything else. We can play and soothe a kiddo while you breathe and come back giving off stress free vibes! We've got you! Trust the process.
  • Talk up the photo shoot experience to your kids before hand. Talking to the kids leading up to the session is a good idea. Make it exciting for them. If you have older children it is a good idea to set expectations for their behavior on shoot day. Especially with younger siblings on set too. The littles tend to follow the behavior of the older kiddos.
  • Make sure everyone is confident in what they are wearing!   If they don't feel good in their outfit it will most definitely come across in their photos. If miss priss aint having that big bow... lose it! And if your handsome little guy isn't digging his suspenders take them off. We are after happy smiles to treasure for a lifetime. The bow or suspenders isn't going to make or break that moment. Also, please keep the weather and location in mind when choosing wardrobes. If the kids are too hot or too cold its not going to make for happy smiles. Have all of your outfits picked out before the day of your photo shoot so you are not adding any more stress to your day.
  • Bribes and Treats. Bribes are an excellent way to have children behave on shoot day. Toys, lollipops or ice cream afterwards…anything that they can look forward to after the photo shoot is an awesome way to get them to comply with all of the things we want to try to do during the shoot.