7 Ways to Get Your Kids to Cooperate for Professional Photos

Okay, raise your hand if you stress out with just the thought of getting your children's photos taken. What if they act out? What if they have a melt down? What if they won't cooperate with the photographer and make me seem like I let them get away with everything?

Well, have no worries. I've made this list to help parents like you face one of your biggest fears when it comes to picture day. Here are seven of my best tips on helping prepare your children to go in front of the camera.

1. Timing is everything

How fun would it be to have a camera in your face when your make up is off, you're in your PJs and you're ready to dive into bed. Not fun, at all. It's the same concept when it comes to planning important events that include your little ones. You want them to be happy and in a good mood. You know your kiddos the best. Choose a time preferably after a nap and when they'll have full bellies.

2. Location

It might be wise to chose a place with minimal distractions (i.e. a playground). That way your children might stay more focused. Now this isn't to say that you shouldn't take them to the park afterwards, maybe? That might be a good reward!

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3. Have Fun

Especially if you're getting your pictures done outdoors, have fun with it! Play peek-a-boo, crack jokes, or have a tickle fight. The great thing about not getting your photos done in a cramped studio is that you have the freedom to really express the dynamics of your family. I strive to get a good amount of candid/lifestyle photos as well as the more traditional poses. You may find that your favorite photos tend to be the ones where your children are doing things that normal children do, instead of just staring at a camera and saying "cheese."

4. Bring Snacks

Very important tip here. Snacks make the world go 'round. While I don't always condone bribing, small treats can be really helpful tools in getting your kids to participate. Grapes, popcorn, or small gummy candies work well, but try to stay away from messy snacks, such as chocolate or Doritos.

5. Use Props or Play Dress-up

Let your daughter bring her favorite snuggly bear! Having Teddy in a picture or two with her will help you reflect in later years how she used to be! Also remember, all the pictures don't have to include the teddy. Anyway, never underestimate the power of props, they can make things interesting and more exciting for your kids. Also, if your photographer allows an outfit change, consider bringing an outfit they enjoy dressing up in. Involve your children in picking out what to wear. If they feel like they have a choice and their opinion matters, they might be more apt to cooperate for you later on!

6. Let the photographer work his or her magic

While it is nice to have help from the parents when they say "smile" or "look here" it can become overwhelming, and it might cause your children to become confused. Hopefully the photographer you choose has experience with little ones and knows how to get your children to warm up to the camera. Let them pull whatever tricks they might have, and then help when and if you're needed.

7. Don't stress!

Easier said than done, right? But seriously, don't do it. Your children will feel your frustration and you'll make the photographer worried that you're going to freak out and be the one with the melt-down! Try your best to just laugh it off and stay calm. If your photographer is like me, they might offer a free "bad kid" reshoot. I understand that sometimes kids just have their bad days, and they deserve a second chance in front of the camera, perhaps on a better day.
Well there you have it! I hope these tips lessened your worry about getting family pictures done.

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Posted in Photograph Post Date 08/15/2015


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  1. MarcosUWeida

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