Handy Tips on How to Have a Fun Family Photography Session With Your Children.
Being a mother as well as a lifestyle photographer, I understand that, as much as we love our offspring, there’s an additional layer of stress when doing certain activities with children. But worry not! I’m here to reassure you that with a little bit of planning and preparation, a family photoshoot with kids can go smoothly. Here are a few handy tips I’d like to share that I’ve picked up over the years:
Communication is key
Instead of just telling your children what they’ll be doing, try involving them in the planning. I’m a big believer in talking to children. They have thoughts and opinions of their own so let them discuss theirs with you and really be a part of the experience. If they feel as though they’ve played a role in the decision-making, they’re much more likely to be willing participants in the family photography session.
Location, location, location
Where you choose to have your family photography session is an important decision. Where are your children their happiest selves? Is it at home, surrounded by their books and toys, or playing outside in the garden, or perhaps out and about at the local park? Pick a place that is familiar to them and that has plenty to keep them occupied.
As with all lifestyle photography sessions, family photoshoots aren’t about staged scenes and posing. I want everyone to forget about me as I silently click away in the background. It may feel odd at first but once you all become immersed in what you’re doing, everyone will start behaving in a much more natural way. Give your children a helping hand by doing or saying things that you know make them laugh and elicit those winning smiles
Style it out
Of course, everyone wants to look their best when they have their family photoshoot but to achieve this, consider what your children (and you) feel most comfortable wearing. Is smart really the way to go or will they just feel self-conscious and irritable? Maybe let them choose an item (or even full ensemble) themselves – a way to make them feel confident and in control, as well as a sure-fire way of letting their personality shine through in the photographs.
Make sure your children dress appropriately for the weather if the family photographs are being taken outside. If the photoshoot is taking place during the colder months, then be sure that everyone wraps up warm with lots of layers – this way, layers can be removed if the temperature increases during the day. For spring and summer family photography sessions, light, airy materials work best and, of course, don’t forget hats and sunscreen to protect young, delicate skin!
Stave off any hunger pangs
Hunger in children is often the reason behind whingeing and tantrums so I strongly advise you having a selection of tasty, placatory snacks at the ready. Try and avoid messy foods that could mark or stain clothing and use bibs for babies and toddlers. It may also be a good idea to have some plan B outfits at the ready just in case! And you never know, a few snaps of them munching away might make the final cut – after all, it will be a true snapshot of everyday life with young children.
As we all know, children often feed off how their parents are feeling so try and expel any negative emotions you may have about your family photoshoot. The focus of the day should be about having fun together as a family – with the bonus being the beautiful selection of images you’ll have to look back on for years to come. You might even consider having an annual family photography session that acts as a visual diary – you can read more about the benefits of yearly family photoshoots here.
But remember, even if you plan every tiny detail, children are children and, just like adults, they have good days and bad. So, try to relax and just embrace your children for who they are. Whether there are smiles, tears, laughter or tantrums —or a combination of them all—it’s all part and parcel of the family photoshoot experience.