Family Photos with Your Kids

Ages 2 and 8 months

Kids Are Unpredictable & It’s Okay!

Raise Your Hand If…

Family Photos with Kids. You may be new parents or have multiple kids. You may have had professional family photos with your kids taken or this may be your first time. But there are always the looming questions of – will my kids behave? Will they smile? Will they even look at the camera?

The answer might surprise you – we don’t know! This is the most honest answer I can give you and the most honest answer you should give yourself. Kids are totally unpredictable when it comes to getting photos done. Why? Well, though the answer should be simple, it really isn’t. There are many factors that make this answer complicated and I want to talk about them.

But I Planned…

Let’s talk about how kids will be kids. Now, I know I am not a parent myself just yet, but I have plenty of nieces and nephews and have worked with enough families with young kids, to be able to confidently tell you the following. I’ll paint you a picture:

So, you have the day of family photos with your kids and the day before planned out perfectly in your head. You’ll get the kids down for their naps and bedtime at the planned time. Maybe you got them bathed, fed them their favorite foods on time. You talked about getting pictures taken days before. You even tell them they can have or go to (insert their favorite snack/toy/place here) as a reward for being good. But let me tell you, everything can go right until the second you get to your session. On the other hand, you have this perfect plan leading up to the photo session, and NOTHING goes as planned! One thing goes wrong and can cause a ripple effect for the rest of your plan.

It’s Normal!!!

Both examples can end in a kid not wanting to listen, not wanting to smile, not wanting to even look at the camera. Tack on more than one kid, and you get juggling each kid’s personality and decision of how the day will go. Does trying to have and implementing a plan and routine help? Sure! Does offering an incentive for good behavior or bringing something to get their attention to the camera help? They can! But, both parents and photographer can only do so much when it comes to what happens during a family photo with kids session. Please do not feel embarrassed or ashamed, kids doing their own thing sometimes is NORMAL. Lifestyle photographers know it and will work with you! Kids can become shy or wild in an instant, and we’re here for it.

What Should I Do Then?

Like I said, you can plan as much as you want or can in advance. For example: have your outfits picked out ahead of time. So, you can do some of the following to prepare:

  • Talk to your photographer about the “What if’s”
  • Ask your photographer about alternatives and ideas for your kids, as well as what they’ve done for other sessions
  • Tell your photographer what you know about your kids and their likes/dislikes/triggers
  • Book your session with your photographer within their given time frame that works best with your family’s routine
  • Pack a bag of the essentials and must haves a day or two before Photo Day
  • Bring an alternative change of clothes in case of an incident
  • Pack snacks and toys for the “just in case” moments

Take a Breath & Be Easy On Yourself

In conclusion, I just want you to hear that it’s okay if your kid(s) just aren’t having it on photo day. It’s okay that your plan didn’t go accordingly. You and your photographer should know and understand that kids will be kids and sometimes, kids won’t always smile and won’t always look at the camera. So please, take a breath and be easy on yourself… you’re doing the best you can to make it a successful session. In fact, some of the cutest, and in my opinion BEST photos are the moments that are not posed. The little things such as different or little expressions, movement, looking away or at each other, and being goofy, can make for truly unique and precious photos and memories.

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