My number one goal as your family photographer is to make sure you and your family enjoy our time together. If everybody has a good time, your family photos will reflect that. Your faces will look relaxed and your love for each other will come through.
I know that doing certain things with little kids can be very stressful (it still is with my 6 year old!) and you might worry about a lot in this stage of their lives. But when it comes to family photography, I can assure you that is not as daunting as it seems. So here are my top tips for family photos with small kids.
1- Let Kids Be Kids
Seems kind of logical and obvious, but a lot of times we have very high expectations for our kids when it comes to things that need to get done. If you have small kids, specially the 1-4 year old range, chances are they will not be very interested in listening to instructions from you or me.
And you know what? That’s totally ok with me!
What if I told you that the child pictured here in this blog post did not give me even one minute of their attention during our one hour session? It’s true, and that happens to almost every single child this age I photograph. So don’t worry if your little one is acting disinterested at all.
It is hard work for me, I am not going to lie. But this is my job and I love it with all my heart. I will do everything in my power to get beautiful shots of your family.
So, let them be kids. Let them have fun, explore, run and jump ( as long as they are being safe of course!) and let me take care of the rest.
2- Make Sure They Are Well Rested
Again, I know this might sound like very silly advice, but I’ve had people showing up for photoshoots after having a super full day full of activities. I understand that sometimes things cannot be rescheduled, but one thing I can tell you for sure, if your kids are well rested, everybody will enjoy the session a lot more.
Meltdowns might happen either way, for sure, but I have seen it happen more often when kids are overtired.
One thing that I definitely do not recommend is have the kids nap in the car on the way to the session. Our sessions are usually at Sunset which means pretty late in the day. You know what happens when your kids nap too late in the day? Their bodies think they are going to sleep for the night and they do not want to wake up once you reach the destination. The result is big meltdowns that take a while to calm down. This wouldn’t be a problem at all to me, except that the sun only gives us a limited amount of time to shoot before it goes down. So, having them nap at home or even in the car but earlier in the day is your best bet.
One of my clients did a whole relaxation day at home before their session, they watched movies, ate popcorn and pretty much just hung out at home the whole day and their kids were in an amazing mood by the time they met me. So here’s proof that the more rested they are, the more you will enjoy your time.
3- Dress Them Warmly
Let’s be honest, we live in the Pacific Northwest, so we don’t get that many super warm evenings around here. Unless you are having your pictures taken in the Summer months, there’s a big chance it will be at least a little chilly when we meet for photos.
I think styling is super important for your photos, for sure. But, above all, I want all of you to be comfortable and the kids definitely need to be warm enough, otherwise they will be super miserable. When we work on styling together, we will definitely take the weather into consideration and I will make sure to suggest clothing that will keep the kids toasty.
We can find beautiful sweaters with amazing textures that will help bring your pictures to the next level. Leggings and cute hats really help add layers of color as well as warmth.
Depending on where we go, I might recommend that your kids wear rain boots or waterproof shoes, because as we know, it rains a lot here, so there’s always mud somewhere.
So, here’s a summary of my tips if you are getting family pictures done and have a small child:
Let them have fun, these are the most photogenic moments
Give them plenty of rest ( but not in the car ride to the location)
Dress them warmly
Make sure they had enough food, bring water and snacks
Enjoy your time with your family as you would at any day out
Ready to book your family session? Click HERE to send me a message and get started