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Six Tips to Prepare Your Kids for a Fun and Relaxed Family Photography Session

It is perfectly normal to worry about how your family will behave during a photo session. You’ve put a lot of time and thought into the process and want to create beautiful memories of your family. Here are some tips to prepare your children for our time together.

tell your children what to expect before they arrive at a family photo session

A few days before the session, tell your children that your friend is going to take some pictures of the family. They can call me MJ or Mimi (which is what my grandchildren call me).Explain that you will be going to a really fun beach. Let them know they will be asked to stand or sit in different ways and then we are going to play really fun some games.

help toddlers understand what a photo session is like by showing them other family photos

Most kids love to see photos of themselves. Show them past pictures from your phone, album or framed print. If kids understand that the experience will result in fun photos, they may be more excited to participate.

Pro photo tip: let your children nap and feed them well before taking family photos

Most sessions are held at the golden hour - either just after sunrise or just before sunset, to get the best light. Provide a relaxing and restful experience (or even a nap!) the afternoon of the photo shoot. Make the photo session the main event of the day. It can be really helpful to clear your schedule if possible so that you aren’t rushing from one activity to the next. Feed your children dinner or a big snack before the session. Hangry kids (and adults) are never easy to work with.

use the bathroom before leaving the house for a family photo session

While locations have restrooms, they can be dirty or out of order. Avoid a trip to the bushes by having everyone go at home.

its normal for some people to feel shy and not smile when having their photos made

If your child isn’t comfortable leaving your arms, that is fine. We will still get beautiful pictures with lots of snuggles and hugs. Likewise, its ok if they don’t feel like smiling. Forced smiles can look strained. Honest expressions make for beautiful memories.

for a successful family photo session offer your kids a reward afterwards

A little before shoot, let them know that after the session you will be going out for a special treat or that you will do a favorite activity as a family. This helps make the whole experience one of bonding and fun.

If you have any questions about getting your child ready, please reach out ahead of time. 😊


MJ Falvey is a beach photographer who documents stories of love and connection. She specializes in in active, vibrant, and joyful photography of people and pets on San Diego's beautiful beaches, especially those of North County San Diego: Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Del Mar and La Jolla.

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