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Preparing Children For Photography Sessions

You’ve booked your family photo shoot, and you can’t wait to finally get to see the amazing new photographs of your beautiful family. But to get ideal pictures, the kids have to be in a happy cooperative mood, which  ensures they can be their best selves on the day. You have invested your valuable time and money into this experience and you want it to go flawlessly. Your family is growing right before your eyes. That is why I believe it is so important to capture these moments before they're gone. Family photos are such a beautiful way to do that. However, with all the attention on the baby it can be challenging for some older siblings. They have to adjust to a new dynamic, responsibilities, and routine. Remember that a photo shoot is a new experience, too, and it’s a good idea to prepare yourselves just like you had to  prepare before the newest bundle entered your family’s life. 

Schedule Around Nap Times

If you have a toddler, consider scheduling the session around your child’s usual schedule. For example, scheduling the shoot in the middle of nap time is not the best idea. Some sessions are later in the evening for best lighting. For a situation like this, putting them down for a late nap or clearing your schedule on photo day to allow them to rest before the shoot are things to consider.  Ensure that they are well fed and well rested. Not to mention, drinks and snacks come a long way, feel free to bring those along.

Talk to Them Days Prior

If you have older children, in the days leading up to the session, I recommend talking to them about the session in such a way that gets them excited. This is so important to get them to look forward to the day.  Tell them that a friend is going to be taking your photos. Tell them that your friend will be asking them to stand and sit in a few different ways. Show them a picture of me from my About page so I am a familiar face to them. 

Don't Make Other Plans the Day Of

You want to make your photography session the main event of the day. I do not recommend a full day of activities prior to the session, if it is later in the day. Everyone should be relaxed and carefree.   

Offer Rewards (Not Bribes)

Toddlers are not the most patient amongst us, therefore, I always recommend planning an activity for the older siblings after their portion of the session is complete. I have had dads take the kids out for a snack, to a playground, to grandma’s house or any number of other fun diversions post photo shoot. Sometimes it is helpful to have a little incentive for the siblings. You know your child best so deciding on what that may be is up to you but a little ice cream, game or other small token of fun can do the trick to secure some good family photos. Some parents might remind the kids about the treat during the shoot, as a way to keep them excited and happy.  

Practice at Home

Practice posing with your children at home. Ask them to to lay next to the baby on the bed, or to lean in to kiss the baby, or have older siblings practice holding baby. Not only does this encourage your child’s competence with the baby, it gets them ready to be in front of the camera (if they’re not already).

This is the foundation for preparing your children for their photography sessions. Should you have any further suggestions of what has worked for you, please feel free to share your feedback.

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