Tips for a seamless family session with little ones || MRP


January 6, 2020

Hello my friends! I wanted to take a minute today and share a few things that I think will be helpful for the mamas out there when it comes to scheduling your session! I know it can be so stressful, finding a time that works with everyones schedule, choosing outfits (and then hoping there isn’t a struggle to actually get those clothes on the people you need them to go on!), keeping everyones attitudes happy and delighted the whole day until session time, worrying about how well your kids will listen or cooperate all while feeling so overwhelmed that these pictures you are paying for aren’t going to work out the way you hoped. It’s a lot to think about! We as moms put a lot of pressure on this whole experience – myself included!

So I wanted to just put together a few guidelines to help smooth out the process. I want this experience be fun and the goal is to capture your family – together! And the truth is however you were feeling the moment the image was captured is how you will always feel when you pull out that photograph and reflect back on the memory of it. So we want to do everything we can to make it a positive one!

#1 Preparation

My very first tip is this… and I say it to you with all the love I have in my heart. Don’t yell or have an angry tone with your kiddos during the session. Talk to them about expectations beforehand. And take a deep breathe often!

Tell them a few days before the session that you have a fun activity planned – and that you are excited about it and really hoping to get some great pictures of everyone together and just a bit about how that will be so special for you. If outfits are an issue I would also bring up this up a few days prior. Reiterate this is important to you, it would mean a lot, and you’ve put some thought into it. I know all kids are different but for the most part I think it’s universally nice to have a heads up of expectations we have of each other. Then the day of, remind everyone one more time this is important, it will be fun (truly!), and you just want some great pictures of your family all together. We want this to be a fun and happy memory for each of you. Then on session day, show up, take a deep breathe, and trust me! I’ll walk you through all of it – tell you where to stand, sit, and give you prompts for some movement. Also, I’m totally not above bribes – if you all happen to go get ice cream together if everyone does a great job, well, I 100% encourage and support that idea!

If the kids are being… rambunctious, let’s give them a minute. Sometimes we all just need to feel a little in control and if making a goofy face for a few photos gives them that – it’ll be worth it. I find that after I ask kids to make a fart noise or silly face or whatever they tend to cooperate for smiles the best after. So, give them space to be kids on session day! I love working with families and kiddos and I am great at keeping things light and easy so all I ask is that you show up with a great attitude and trust me.

#2 Attitude is everything!

My second tip is this and might be a bit similar to the first but… have a great attitude and be up for whatever! If I ask you to tackle or tickle or laugh like a hyena – it’s okay to be silly! Kids are incredibly perceptive, aren’t they? So they are picking up whatever emotion you are putting out. If you’re stressed, they are probably be going to feel a little nervous and we want to avoid that if we can! If you are up for all of it, I find that that helps the kids loosen up much faster! So again, just like the first tip, show up with a great attitude and that’ll help us all out – especially your kids! When the kids have an idea for a photo – I love that and want to encourage them in that so that they’re engaged and included and that they feel seen and important throughout our session.


Tip #3 Clothes

Wear something you feel really great and comfortable in. I learned this lesson for myself – we scheduled our own family photos a few years ago and I wore this shirt that required a lot of tugging to keep it in the right place (it was an off the shoulder thing) and it annoyed me the whole time. Plus, I don’t even wear those types of shirts in my real life so I didn’t feel like myself! My first memory every time I look back at those photos is I wish I had worn a different shirt. If you have something that you love on yourself – wear that and work everyone else’s clothes around your outfit! Remember how I said your attitude is everything? Well, it’s easier to have a great attitude when you love what you’re wearing and feel confident.


Tip #4 Comfort

If someone is crying or just needing a minute, comfort them. Those moments are real life and it is precious… it’s such a sweet thing to get to photograph! I don’t want you to feel worried or frustrated in those moments – they are natural and common and nothing to stress about. Promise.

Tip #5 Bring along some comfort items

This tip is especially for little little ones… bring snacks, a favorite toy (bonus if it’s cute and looks adorable included in photos!), I love using gummy snack treats for smiles – I find gummy things are excellent because they don’t melt like chocolate so the mess is minimal! Sippy cups are also a good idea.

Okay, those are my top tips for creating an easy and smooth family session with little ones! I’d love to know if there is anything else you’re curious about or would like more info on. The compliment I receive most often is how easy-going I am and I’ve got to be honest, I love to hear that! I love getting to work with kids and families… if you have any questions or would like to book a session with me – contact me @ or use the contact form above!

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