How to have cooperative children during a photography session

mom and daughter in field. 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!

Family, Life with kids


How to have cooperative children during a photography session

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What can I expect from my photoshoot?

You want to find the perfect photographer for your family - one that will make your kids comfortable and capture all those expressions and moments that make your heart burst, without the frustration and stress usually associated with a photo shoot.

I help take care of every detail from helping select outfits, to directing you so your family doesn't feel awkward, and assisting in selecting the images that make your heart the happiest. My goal is to give you the stunning images you want of all your favourite parts of your beautiful life, make them into gorgeous artwork so you can enjoy them daily, and make it a fun and stress-free experience for the whole family!