How to prepare your kids for a family photoshoot

How to Prepare Your Kids for a Family Photoshoot: 6 Easy Steps for Parents

Looking for some guidance on how to prepare your kids for a family photoshoot? Getting the whole family together for a photoshoot? Sounds like a blast, right? But throw kids into the mix, and suddenly it’s a wild, whirlwind adventure! The most important thing to remember? Just go with the flow and aim for those beautiful photos. After all, family portraits are all about capturing the real fun and chaos that comes with having everyone in one place. So, gather the crew, let loose, and let‚Äôs make some memories!

1. Timing is Everything: Nap Time and Full Bellies

‚ÄčHow to Prepare Your Kids for a Family Photoshoot with the Right Timing

The¬†first thing¬†to pin down when prepping for a¬†family photography session? Timing. It’s not just about coordinating schedules; it’s about aligning with moods, especially when¬†small children¬†are involved. Ensuring kids have had their naps is paramount‚ÄĒa well-rested child is, without a doubt, a more cheerful participant than a sleepy one. And then there’s the hunger factor. Ever tried wrangling¬†hangry kids¬†(or adults) into a picture-perfect moment?

A full belly can turn potential chaos into calm. That’s why having a healthy snack is a strategy every parent should embrace. With a granola bar or fruit snacks in tow, you’re equipping yourself in a great way to keep the energy positive and consistent throughout the session

2. Plan Outfits in Advance: Matching Without Matching

‚ÄčPreparing the Whole Family's Outfits for the Photoshoot

The¬†best way¬†to ensure that everyone looks coordinated in family photoshoots is to think about the¬†family’s outfits¬†well in advance. Opt for colour schemes that complement each other without being overly matchy. For instance, if your¬†little girl¬†has a floral dress, maybe the little boy could wear a shirt in one of those colours, and¬†big brother¬†can have a tie that matches.

how to prepare your kids for a family photoshoot

The main thing is to ensure that everyone feels comfortable in what they’re wearing as it translates into natural smiles in the photos. A couple of quick tips: avoid overly bright colours, overly busy patterns, and opt for timeless over trendy.

3. Pack a Bag: Change of Clothes and Snacks

‚ÄčHow to Prepare Your Kids for a Family Photoshoot with Essentials

Navigating the whirlwind of a¬†family photoshoot¬†requires a blend of planning and flexibility. A¬†change of clothes, for example, is a¬†great idea, especially for adventures involving¬†younger children. Little spills, muddy patches, or just a sudden desire to switch things up ‚Äď having an outfit backup can be a game-changer. And while we’re on the topic of game-changers, snacks like¬†fruit snacks¬†or a¬†granola bar¬†can stave off those mid-session hunger pangs that often lead to¬†cranky kids.

Beyond the basics, a¬†small toy¬†or a¬†special stuffed animal¬†can work wonders as a distraction or a comfort item.¬†Shy kids, in particular, might find solace in holding onto a familiar toy, helping them warm up to the camera. And, if your photoshoot plan involves¬†specific props¬†‚Äď maybe a cherished¬†family heirloom¬†or a book everyone loves ‚Äď make sure it’s nestled safely in your bag. It‚Äôs these personal touches that infuse the photos with a depth of meaning, transforming them from mere images to cherished memories.

4. Make it a Fun Experience: Music and Rewards

‚ÄčEnsuring Your Family Session is Much Fun for Everyone

Creating an atmosphere where laughter and joy are the norm is essential for great photos. After all, genuine smiles and spontaneous giggles are what make pictures come alive. Integrating elements familiar and beloved by the kids, like playing their favourite song, can instantly infuse the environment with much fun. You might just catch them showing off their best dance moves or singing along, adding a playful dimension to the session.

For¬†older kids, who might need a touch more motivation, dangling the carrot of a¬†little reward¬†can be incredibly effective. And this doesn’t mean splurging or going overboard. Often, the anticipation of a¬†little toy, a new book, or even just some bonus playtime post-session can make all the difference in their enthusiasm and cooperation. Ultimately, the goal is for the¬†entire session¬†to feel like an extension of a joy-filled family outing, where the camera is just a guest capturing the merry moments. It’s all about making memories, not tasks!

5. Choose the Right Professional Photographer

‚ÄčFinding the Perfect Family Photographer for Your Session

Selecting the ideal¬†professional photographer¬†for your¬†family session¬†is a blend of research, instinct, and recommendations. While portfolios give you a glimpse of their style, reviews and testimonials can shed light on their rapport with clients, especially¬†young children. The best family photographers aren’t just skilled with a camera; they have an innate ability to connect with kids, understanding their rhythms and moods.

how to prepare your kids for a family photoshoot

Among the¬†top tips¬†is to prioritize a photographer’s experience with¬†family portraits. Such professionals are adept at creating an environment where kids feel relaxed and genuine. They know the¬†easy ways¬†to coax out a shy smile or channel a toddler’s bubbling energy into a candid shot. They’re also skilled in reading the room, intuiting when a break might be beneficial or when to switch gears to keep the momentum going.

Moreover, a stellar¬†family photographer¬†is prepared for the unexpected ‚Äď be it sudden rain or a fleeting mood swing from one of the younger ones. Their adaptability ensures that no matter how dynamic or unpredictable the¬†entire session¬†might seem, the end result will always be a set of¬†amazing photographs¬†that capture the essence of your family’s bond. In essence, they bring expertise and empathy, transforming potential challenges into picture-perfect moments.

6. Set Expectations and Communicate

How to Prepare Your Kids for a Family Photoshoot - Prep is Key

Setting the stage mentally for what lies ahead is a fantastic tactic, especially for older kids who like to be in the know. Before the upcoming session, have a casual chat, highlighting the importance of picture time. Sharing tidbits of what the day might look like, or even showing them examples of family portraits, can help them visualize and engage with the idea. You could mention how their role as the big sibling might be highlighted or how they might get to strike some fun poses.

For the¬†younger children, the approach is slightly different. While the nuances of the session might elude them, they certainly can grasp emotions. It’s all about generating anticipation and ensuring they equate the photoshoot with¬†much fun. You might pepper in phrases like, “Guess what? We’re going to play and laugh in front of a camera!” or “It’s a special day where we all get to be together and have fun.” This not only creates a positive association but also ensures they enter the scene with bubbling excitement. The key is to make them feel like they’re about to embark on a delightful adventure rather than just another task on the calendar.

Bonus Tip: Stay Unhurried and Relaxed

Being rushed is a surefire way to stress everyone out. Ensure you have plenty of time before, during, and after the photoshoot. Kids pick up on parents’ stress, so the calmer and more unhurried you are, the better the chance of beautiful images filled with genuine smiles.

how to prepare your kids for a family photoshoot

In conclusion, preparing for your¬†next family photo session¬†might seem overwhelming at first, but by following these easy steps, it‚Äôs entirely manageable. The¬†most important thing¬†is to make the experience enjoyable for all¬†family members. Whether it‚Äôs your child’s natural smile after munching on their favourite¬†fruit snacks¬†or the¬†whole family¬†laughing at a shared joke, the best family photos are those that capture genuine moments. Remember, every family is unique, so it’s all about what works best for yours. Happy photographing!


Typically, scheduling around your child’s nap and feeding times works best. A well-rested and fed child is generally more cooperative. For outdoor shoots, morning or late afternoon provides softer lighting, which can be flattering

Choose comfortable outfits that reflect your family’s style. While coordination is great, avoid being overly matchy. Think complementary colors and avoid overly bright or busy patterns

It’s quite common for kids, especially younger ones, to feel shy. Bringing along their¬†favorite toy¬†or a comforting item can help. A¬†professional photographer¬†with experience in¬†family portraits¬†will have tricks up their sleeve to engage and comfort shy children

Absolutely! Snacks, especially non-messy ones like fruit snacks or granola bars, can keep energy levels up. A beloved toy can also serve as a comfort or even a prop

While it varies, family sessions with kids typically last 1-2 hours. It’s long enough to capture a variety of shots but short enough to prevent fatigue and restlessness

Kids will be kids, and sometimes, they might not be in the mood. It’s essential to remain patient and flexible. Often, taking a short break or switching up activities can help reset the mood

Yes, especially with older kids. Letting them know what to expect and building some excitement can make the process smoother. For younger kids, framing it as a fun activity or adventure can help

Most photographers love when families bring meaningful items to personalize the session. Always discuss this with your photographer in advance to plan the best way to incorporate them into your shots

Interested in booking a family photoshoot?

Drop me a message and share your vision for your family photos. Let’s work together to capture your cherished moments perfectly!

You may also like...