Getting your kids in to the studio or on location for a portrait can be stressful. Here are some tips and ideas for things to avoid doing and how to make your session go a little easier, by Jacksonville newborn and family photographer, Christy Whitehead of Christy Whitehead Photography.
1-Make a huge deal out of it.
If you're stressed out and over talking the photos shoot your kids are going to get anxious and may act out as a result. Their behavior will usually be better if you are relaxed and having fun. You may have to make some compromises to keep the peace such as letting your energetic daughter's hair stay straight instead of curling it or bringing the Batman doll your kid can’t live without, like my son. Focus on the big picture and don't sweat the small stuff.
2. Not making it fun.
Let the kids have a couple “fun pictures” where they get to pick their own pose or props. You get to keep the more serious photos while they get to keep their silly photos. This way everyone wins. Let the kids know if they are good you can do one super funny photo. Sometimes those funny photos are a great addition in a home. I personally think a silly photo would be hysterical in a bathroom to make your guests laugh.
3. Not being prepared.
Plan your session based on when your kids are typically at their best, temperament wise. Planning a session during naptime or near naptime is a recipe for a meltdown. Bringing some snacks (think snacks that don’t stain hands or clothes!) and activities along is also a great idea. If you are having your own photos taken too then you might want to bring a babysitter or family member along to watch the kids. Don’t forget to bring handy items like bug spray, tissues, first aid kit, baby wipes, water, etc.
4. Not being patient.
Save your sanity by trying not to control the photo session too much. Sometimes the best photos come from kids just doing their own thing. Let the photographer direct the session, if she’s having difficulty or seems frustrated, then step in, but sometimes photogs let kids be themselves for a few minutes to gain their trust and get more authentic portraits of kids.
5. Choosing the wrong location
If you have small children and it’s October, planning a family session outside in Florida may not be a great idea with the potential for rain or a cold snap. Some photography studios, like ours have a studio and also shoot on location. Having that backup plan in place and being open to secondary options will keep your sanity and make sure everything goes more smoothly.
Get your children talking to both you and the photographer about topics such as school or their favorite songs. This allows them to feel more comfortable around your photographer and will also give your photographer a chance to capture a few candid and cute expressions.
Christy Whitehead has a studio off of Chaffee Blvd, aprx 10 minutes from downtown Jacksonville. She specializes in pregnancy, newborn, family and headshot photography. You can find her at: