How to prepare your kids for a family shoot

A family photoshoot is an opportunity to stop time and capture your family as it is in the moment. The rawness and honesty is the beauty in the images so it’s important to embrace the free spirited nature of your children. Unlike adults, they’re not bound by social norms or societal expectations, which allows them to be true to themselves and express their feelings and emotions freely. This is the magic! I never have any expectations on children on how they should behave, nor will I pose them. Instead I will gently prompt, guide and encourage, working with them to capture beautiful images.

Here’s my top tips on how to prepare your children for a relaxed and magical family photoshoot…

Talk to them about the photoshoot

The first step in preparing your children for a family photoshoot is to talk to them about it. Explain what will happen, where it will take place, and why it’s important. You can also show them some photos from previous photoshoots to give them an idea of what to expect.

Choose comfortable clothing

It is essential to choose comfortable clothing for your children that they feel good in. Make sure the clothes are not too tight or itchy, as this can make them feel uncomfortable and unhappy. You can also involve your kids in the clothing selection process, letting them choose their own outfits or accessories.

Have a good night’s sleep

A good night’s sleep is vital for your children (and parents!) to be fresh and energised for the photoshoot. Make sure they get a good night’s sleep the night before, so they wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day ahead.

Keep them well-fed and hydrated

Hunger and thirst can make children less tolerant and patient, so it’s essential to keep them well-fed and hydrated during the day of the photoshoot. Pack some snacks and water in case they get hungry or thirsty during the shoot. My top tip here is to choose snacks that aren’t too messy and won’t stain their gorgeous outfits!

Bring some toys or props

Bringing your child’s favourite toy can help make them feel comfortable and at ease during the shoot. It’s also really special to include meaningful items in your photos. If your child is nervous and unsure about having their photo taken, ask them to choose something they’d like to bring to be in the photos. Giving back some control can really help get them engaged in the shoot. If the shoot is not at your home, I will always ask if there’s anything that you like doing together as a family, such as kicking a ball, dancing, going to the beach… these can really add to your photographs!

Plan for breaks

During a photoshoot, I’ll always go at your pace whether that’s get it over and done with quickly or taking it slowly with some breaks. Sometimes taking a break can help your kids relax and recharge, so they are ready for the next set of photos. You can plan for breaks by bringing some games or activities that your kids enjoy, or by taking a short walk around the photoshoot location.

Embrace your children, just as they are!

In our busy lives, being truly present in the moment with our children is rare. Your photoshoot is a time to block out all the noise and soak them up, relishing in each others company. Take the pressure off and let them be children, their big-little personalities will shine and you will have so much fun creating memories to keep.


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