Northern Virginia Family Photography | Woodbridge Virginia Photographer | 5 Tips For Kid Friendly Portrait Session
Let's be honest, many parents stress out when it's time for the family portrait session. Like many parents, you're stressed and may be feeling a bit apprehensive. Our biggest concern is how will our children behave and we we be able to get at least one good family photo. Children aren’t always easy to deal with or wanting to listen and follow directions exactly when we want them, which is why the tips below will definitely come in handy before your upcoming portrait session.
1. Don't make a huge deal out of it.
If you're stressed out and cranky, your kids will usually pick up on it and act accordingly. Their behavior will usually be better if you are relaxed and having fun. You may have to make some compromises to keep the peace such as letting your energetic daughter's hair stay straight instead of curling it into because she won't sit still. Focus on the big picture and don't sweat the small stuff.
2. Make it fun.
Let the kids have a couple “fun pictures” where they get to pick their own pose or props. You get to keep the more serious portraits while they get to keep their silly portraits. This way everyone wins. As in the portrait below, we were able to use a couple of tic tac toe pieces and use them as a prop. If you are struggling to get your kids to sit still, turn the photo session into a game. Simon Says usually works like a charm.
3. Be prepared.
If you're going to be out for several hours, ensure that your children are well rested and have had their nap. Bringing some snacks and activities along is also a great idea. If you are having your own photos taken too then you might want to bring a babysitter or family member along to watch the kids. If you happen to be shooting in a remote location like Great Falls, you never know when you might need something like bug spray, tissues or a first aid kit so bring that along too.
4. Be Patient.
Save your sanity by trying not to control the portrait session too much. Sometimes the best photographs come from kids just doing their own thing. For example, the young child below wanted to say "Joy" while holding the Joy sign. While looking at this portrait, you can just hear him saying the word. Work with your photographer and your photos will look fantastic.
5. Have a chat.
Get your children talking to both you and the photographer about topics such as school or their favorite songs. This allows them to feel more comfortable around your photographer and will also give your photographer a chance to capture a few candid and cute expressions.
Photographers understand family portraits can be a stressful time, but just relax and have a great time. This is the time to create wonderful memories with your family.