How I encourage my kids to be well behaved for professional photo shoots

Family Photo Session

We all want beautiful photos of our family with happy, cooperative and well-behaved children. But getting this is sometimes easier said than done. As a family photographer, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to capture genuine smiles at photo sessions as well as a few tips you can follow to help things run smoother. I have all many tricks up my sleeve, but today I’ll just share my top 3!

  1. Turn it into an experience
  2. Tell them how important this is to you
  3. Let them know of expectations in positive way

Tip #1: Turn it into an experience

When I hire a photographer to take my own family photos, I always turn it into an experience. We take photos and then do something else fun. No matter what. No “earning the reward.” No threatening to take away the fun activity at the end. It’s just part of the experience.

Recently we took family pictures. I told the kids I had a surprise for them when we were done. After the photo shoot, we played a new game together.

Pictures and the new game were all part of the experience.

Tip #2: Tell them how important it is to you

I like pictures. Pictures are important to me. My kids know this because 1) I’m a photographer and 2) We take pictures often. Each time we take professional photos, I remind my kids that this is really important to me and I would appreciate good listeners, good smiles and good attitudes. I know it’s not everyone’s favorite thing, but being in a family means sacrificing for others and working together.

And then I also hold up my end of things, and gently point out to my kids when I’m sacrificing to do something for them, even if it’s not my favorite.

We are a family.

We are a team.

And we make sacrifices for each other.

Bonus tip: I give my kids the option to not be in the picture other times when the picture isn’t important (like when I’m snapping a picture on my phone at home and it doesn’t matter who is in the shot).That way they know when I mean it when I say that professional pictures is something I’ve invested in and are important to me.

Tip #3: Let them know of expectations in a positive way

I prep my kids for what they can expect and what I expect of them. I make sure to book a photographer who focuses on fun interactions during the photo session. I talk positively about the photographer. I give my kids an idea of what things we’ll be doing at the photo shoot. We discuss what behavior is encouraged during the session and what is not. And then I show up happy and ready to love on my kids because nothing is better than capturing genuine joy with our families.

And there ya have it!

I hope you found these tips helpful and I look forward to capturing these joyful moments for you and your family!

March 30, 2023




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