How to have cooperative children during a photography session
It’s spring time, and as you’re looking forward to summer and remembering that it’s the only time it doesn’t rain around here, you might be thinking about family photos. If you are, you may also be wondering if you could possibly get your kids to cooperate for long enough for it to be worth the risk. As a mom of three and an experienced child and family photographer, let me tell you, it’s possible! And today I’m going to share my tips on how to have cooperative children during a photography session.
Tip #1: Have Fun
First and foremost, getting your photos should be fun! Children are much more cooperative when they are having fun. I know it can be stressful to figure out what to wear, or figure out the best location for your family, but that’s what I’m here to help with! What matters is that your family has fun. It’s important that I keep your family close together while you keep your children engaged in fun! Sometimes this means tickling, cuddling, playing a game together, or running into mommy or daddy’s arms!
Tip #2: Follow your Child’s Lead
Once we get the important shots out of the way, you know, the ones for the grandparents or the wall, we can move onto some more natural and fun images! My favourite images are always the ones where we allow the child to naturally explore and get into something he or she wants to do. When we let the child lead the way, they will naturally be motivated to interact and play, and this helps to bring out natural expressions from the child as well. I often call my sessions child-led for this reason. If your little one wants to run or explore, that is what we do! Kids love to be in control of their environment and giving them this freedom often leads to the most natural expressions!
Tip #3: Engage your Child in an Activity
One of the most important things I love to capture for families is their unique connection. It’s something you only see from the outside so you often miss as a parent. You feel it, but you don’t get to see what it looks like. It’s the images that show your connection with your partner and your children that often make your heart feel most full. This connection can only show up when you naturally engage with your family. For those heart-melting images, get down to your kid’s level, give them 100% of your attention and focus and do whatever it is they want to do in that moment.
Tip #4: Let them Get into Mischief
When kids are allowed to push some boundaries, everything feels like a lot of fun! In an indoor session, let them jump on the bed or have a pillow fight. Outside, let them explore and test their limits! When they’re allowed to be mischievous, the images will show their joy!
Tip #5: No Discipline
Yep, you heard me right. No disciplining your kids before or during your session. Do what you need to as a parent afterward, but before and during, kids can get away with anything! A kid who has been scolded or disciplined is more likely to shut down and retreat. From my experience, once a parent has had to “have a chat” or lay down the law with a kiddo during a session, it’s all downhill from there.
Of course, the best assurance of cooperative kids, or gorgeous images even if they are slightly uncooperative, is a great photographer that can connect with your kids and make it a great experience.
If you follow these guidelines on how to have cooperative children during a photography session, and you’ve found the right photographer for your family, I guarantee you’ll end up with stunning images that will bring you joy for years to come!
Being a mama of little ones is hard. Between Mom-guilt and the unattainable idea that moms should be able to do everything for everyone, get very little time to herself and feel fulfilled by it, we need all the support we can get! You aren't in this alone. We're here to walk through the ups and downs of motherhood together in a judgment-free, supportive way.