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It’s the day of your family photos and you’re in a state of panic trying to prepare and get everyone ready. Clothes are thrown all over the beds, you are shoving food in your toddler‘s mouth while trying to put on mascara, and simultaneously yelling at your husband to hurry up or you’ll be late. Sound familiar? I hope not! But if it does, let’s talk about some tips to make this never happen again. Like, ever. Family photos are supposed to be fun and I am here to help take the stress out of it (or as much as I can). 

Don’t overwhelm your kids with info

You don’t want to over-prepare your kids for their family photos. There are a few different ways that you can accidentally do that, so let’s talk about it.

One way this can go wrong is for you to give them too much information about the photo session. Don’t go into detail about how they need to act or what’s going to happen during the session or anything like that. Don’t try and bribe them to “be good” because that is already setting the expectation that they aren’t going to like it. Instead, just tell them you’re going to go have a fun family day, play together, and explore while someone takes your photos. That’s all you need to say.  

Don’t be too active on the day of your family photos

Don’t have a super active day on the day of your session. You don’t want your little ones to be all worn out by the time we start taking your photographs. With your session likely later in the day, this could make for some tired kids. And since my sessions involve exploring and lots of play, your kids will need their energy!

No hangry family members

Make sure to feed everyone before the session. And then brush their teeth and wipe their faces! A full belly will make a huge difference in your child’s mood (and partner’s) during their family photo session. I also recommend bringing some water and a couple of non-messy snacks if you think your kids will need them. Something they can eat quickly and not get stuck in their teeth or leave a stain if they fall on their clothing.

Wondering what snacks to bring to your family photo session? Here are some examples of great snacks:

  • Grapes cut in half (so they don’t pop and accidentally make a mess)
  • Fruit snacks
  • Apple slices
  • Dried fruit (but probably not berries, they can still stain)
  • Beef jerky
  • Mini marshmallows (just a few)
  • Baby Puffs or cheerios (they dissolve quickly)

On the other hand, here are some horrible snacks that you should definitely not bring to your family photos:

  • ❌ Gum (you don’t want to see that every time they laugh!)
  • ❌ Chocolate (so messy!)
  • ❌ Jolly Ranchers or anything that takes a long time to eat
  • ❌ Suckers (you don’t want them holding those in your photos)
  • ❌ Goldfish crackers or any crackers (they get stuck in teeth)
  • ❌ Blueberries, blackberries, anything that will stain clothing or teeth

Don’t let the kids know that you have the snacks. Be sneaky about it and only bring them out if needed. When you do bring them out, don’t let them see you have an entire container. Just grab a couple from your bag at a time, otherwise they will be walking around with the bag and we don’t want that. We can definitely take a snack break if it seems like they are getting cranky but it’s best to save that for as late as possible so they aren’t begging for a snack every five seconds. Snacks are a last resort.

Be ready early

Give yourselves more time than you think you need when preparing for your family photos. Like 30-60 minutes more. If you’re ready ahead of time, you’ll be relaxed and not feel all stressed out and rushing to do everything last minute. Because I know from experience that if I’m rushing, I get snippy with my husband????. And you want to be a happy family for your photo session, not a tense and upset one. 

Plan a special surprise for after your family photos

Your family photos should be a fun event that the kids look forward to! Especially if you choose the right photographer, they should be able to play and be super silly most of the session, anyway. But one thing you can do to make it even more fun is to plan something they enjoy afterward. You don’t need to use it as a bribe or a way to get them to behave, use it to extend the fun! Let them know that you’re going to go have fun family playtime while your friend Miss Alyssa (that’s me) takes some photos, and then you’re all going to go to ice cream to celebrate! Or whatever else you want to do after (play a family game of Mario Party, get dessert, make a craft together, etc). This is setting the kids up for a positive view of their photo day and something they will look forward to every time.

I hope you have enjoyed these tips on preparing for your family photos and that it helps make your day go smoothly! 

January 9, 2024

Best Tips on Preparing for Amazing Family Photos

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