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10 Tips to Prepare Your Kids for a Photo Shoot

By 11/07/2024No Comments

Preparing your kids mentally beforehand for a photo shoot may be challenging, but it is an important step. Ensuring they are comfortable, relaxed, and happy can make a significant difference in the outcome of the photos. Here are some tips to help you prepare your kids mentally prior to your photo session.

Communicate Clearly and Excitedly

Talk to your children about the photo shoot in a positive and exciting manner. Explain what will happen, why it’s happening, and how fun it will be. Use simple, age-appropriate language and focus on the enjoyable aspects, like dressing up or playing with props. By framing the photoshoot as a fun adventure, you can build their excitement and reduce any anxiety they might feel.

Involve Them in the Planning

Give your kids a sense of control by involving them in the planning process. Allow them to choose their outfits, suggest poses, or pick their favourite toys to bring along. This involvement can make them feel more invested and eager to participate. When children feel they have a say, they are more likely to be cooperative and excited for the shoot.

Practice at Home

Practice makes perfect. Conduct a few mini-photo shoots at home to help your kids get used to being in front of the camera. Let them pose, make silly faces, and see the pictures afterward. This practice can help them to get familiar with the process and make the actual photoshoot feel more familiar and less intimidating.

Keep it Relaxed and Fun

On the day of the photoshoot, maintain a relaxed and fun atmosphere. Avoid putting too much pressure on your kids to perform or behave in a certain way. Encourage them to be themselves and enjoy the experience. Sometimes the best photos are captured when children are genuinely happy, rather than forced into unnatural poses. Incorporate games and activities into the photoshoot to keep your kids engaged, with simple games like Simon Says or peek-a-boo. This strategy can help capture natural smiles and laughter.

Bring Comfort Items

Bring along some of your children’s favourite comfort items, like a beloved stuffed animal or blanket. These items can provide a sense of security and familiarity, helping them feel more at ease. Plus, these cherished items can make for some heartwarming, candid shots.

Plan Around Their Schedule

Schedule the photoshoot at a time when your kids are usually in a good mood. Avoid times when they are likely to be tired, hungry, or cranky, such as right before nap time or meals. Well-rested and well-fed children are more likely to be cooperative and happy during the shoot.

Prepare for Breaks

Be prepared to take breaks during the photo shoot. Kids have limited attention spans, and expecting them to stay focused for an extended period of time can be unrealistic. Allowing short breaks for snacks, drinks, or simply to run around can help them recharge and return to the shoot with renewed energy. That being said, don’t forget to pack their favourite snacks!

Don’t Resort to Devices

It is easy to resort to taking out your phone or tablet as a bribe when your kids start to misbehave or start to cry during the photoshoot. Although this may help stop them from misbehaving, it is only a quick fix and not a long-term solution. In fact, once the devices are given to the kids they would most likely kick up a bigger fuss if it has to be taken away later. Remember, it is impossible for a photographer to capture a good smiling photo of your child if he or she is looking down at a device, and it is not a solution that can easily be fixed later in Photoshop.

Use Positive Reinforcement

Instead of a device, use positive reinforcement to encourage good behaviour and cooperation. Praise your kids frequently, offer small rewards, or promise a fun activity after the photoshoot. Positive reinforcement can motivate children to participate enthusiastically and make the experience more enjoyable for everyone involved.

Choose a Child-Friendly Photographer

When choosing a photographer for your family shoot, do some research and select a photographer who has experience working with children. Check out the photographer’s family portrait portfolio and their online reviews beforehand. A skilled, child-friendly photographer will know how to engage with your kids, make them feel comfortable, and capture their personalities. They will also be patient and understanding of the challenges that come with photographing children.

By taking the time to incorporate these simple tips, you can help ensure that your little ones will be prepared for a positive photography experience. Just remember to set realistic expectations for yourself and your children. Understand that not every moment will be perfect, and that’s part of the charm. Embrace the imperfections and remember that the goal is to capture genuine moments and emotions, and leave the rest up to your skilled photographer. 

At Stories we have been capturing family portraits and beautiful moments for over 16 years. Do reach out if you would like to know more about how we can help you form the best photo memories with your loved ones.