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7 tips for photoshoots with kids

7 tips for photoshoots with kids

Booking a professional photographer to document you and your favourite people will hands down be the best investment you will ever make as a family. Whether it’s when they are fresh newborns, running wild toddlers, or teenagers with a few opinions that are not favourable- let me make it very clear, it is worth the effort, and any amount of potential stress you feel in the lead up or on the day. Why? Because your kids are only this small for approximately 5 minutes, absolutely everything changes with time, and you are very much apart of this family – so you need to hand over the camera to be in these moments or you will look back and regret it!

Here are 7 tips to plan your photoshoot for success:

1. Be as excited about the photoshoot as you want the kids to be.

Kids follow by example-so if you are freaking out or not coming to the shoot with the right intention. You guessed it-neither will they. If any of the adults are not super excited about coming along, have a chat about it before the day so you are on the same page. If they really don’t want to come, let them know they don’t have to come and that usually is the best reverse psychology!  They usually do want the photos, they just haven’t had a good experience in the past, or most commonly their dads didn’t love their photo being taken so they don’t either by default!  It sets the tone if all the adults are on board. You are paying a professional photographer for a reason- you just need to turn up willing, and we’ll do the rest.

2. Have a relaxed morning (for you just as much as them!).

Have a relaxed morning before your family photoshoot- don’t plan your photoshoot on a usually busy day for your little ones, they will just be too tired to give their best by the afternoon for a family shoot.

If you are have a morning newborn shoot, have everything laid out for the next day so you aren’t having any last minute worries about what you are wearing, and any extras you may need.

Leave plenty of time to get ready and arrive at the location, so that you are not feeling stressed or rushed at being late. Having said that, you turning up relaxed is my biggest preference to being on time to a newborn session- Babies pick up on all the vibes so being prepared is best for your own piece of mind!


3. Take the pressure off to perform

Honestly the best natural results are always when children (and big people too!) don’t feel the pressure to be on their best behaviour and perform on cue. We are here to take photos to document your family at this time, capture your love and connection and remember all the moments. Kids are beautiful chaos at times- who cry, throw tantrums, don’t do as they are asked, and you yelling at them to perform probably wont help that. I totally get that you may feel stressed in these moments to “do something”, but let me reassure you that these things happen at every single photoshoot with kids involved and we always get the photos. I will guide you every step of the way and navigate all the scenarios as they inevitably arise.

4. Eat before you arrive or bring healthy snacks

A newborn photo session usually leads into lunch and a family photo session usually leads into dinner. An ideal time to feed the kids would be just before the photo session with a healthy snack or light healthy meal so that their tummies are full, and the kids are relaxed and not melting down in hunger or sugar low.

I mean I know I get hangry- so its asking a lot for kids to stay focused on the task at hand if they are usually having a meal or asleep during photoshoot time! Kids are actually very resilient and can handle being up past their usual bedtime or out of their routine if they aren’t hungry!

5. Don’t bring sugary food 

As mentioned above documenting your family, being relaxed, and creating a positive experience of the family photo session is ideal to be able to capture you and your family in photos you will cherish. The complete opposite of that is kids that are full of sugar, or who are eating sugar as the photo session progresses, the kids end up on a high, and peak when you are wanting them to be having photos, then crash into a heap and the family photo session ends up being a sugary mess of negative emotion. Good tip is to leave any sugary treats for the car ride home if you feel a bribe is needed (no judgement here- been there done that!).

6. Make it fun

The family photo session is documenting your family at this time and included in your family are the kid’s favourite toys that hold sentimental value to them. Please do bring along any cuddle toys, favourite trucks, anything that will make the experience a fun and entertaining experience. The best way to get the natural expressions and laughter is to genuinely play with your children! Play chase, pick them up for kisses and cuddles and games. They will be so excited for the one on one attention the fact they are at a photoshoot will be long forgotten.

7. Let me take the lead in the photo session.  

As a mother, paediatric nurse and photographer who has captured hundreds of families, I have several tricks up my sleeve for photographing kids of all ages. In my experience kids are good at listening to me when I am directing them for a photo. I have a knack for speaking their language, having a laugh with them and being able to guide them, interact and build a relationship with them so that they trust me to capture their personalities. If you allow me to take the lead they will connect with me. and my camera rather then being distracted with people jumping around in the background. Trust that I will ask you for help if needed.

Most of all just be yourselves, everything that happens at the photo session is a perfect reflection of your family at this stage. This is real life. It’s a human and at times messy experience, they certainly made kids cute for a reason- but we wouldn’t have it any other way would we?

Hope you found these photoshoot tips useful!

Jaz Xx

Perth family photography- Perth newborn photography- Perth maternity photography- Perth underwater photography