Preparing kids for family photos

Preparing kids for family photos can make a huge difference during your family photo session. As a parent myself, I know it can be a challenge wrangling the whole family and getting everyone to smile for the camera. Let’s be real, kids are unpredictable, but they like to know what is going on and why. 

Helpful tips for how to prepare your kids for family photos. Brooke Grogan Photography.

Let’s dive into 6 tips when preparing kids for family photos. 

1. Make it sound fun!

Rather than saying, “On Saturday morning at 9:00 AM, we’re taking our family picture and you better behave!”, let’s try a different approach. When you lead into the family photos as being fun and exciting, then the kids are more likely to cooperate and have fun during your family photos. I suggest saying, “Guess what? On Saturday morning we’re going to this cool park to meet up with our new friend, Brooke! She’s going to take some pictures of us as a family and we’ll have fun together!” 

2. Explain why

Kids like to know “why?”. Let them know these family photos are important for everyone to look back on and talk about how much you have changed over the years. Talk about looking at old pictures together and the memories you make every day. Kids want to know “why”, so tell them. Tell them that family pictures make you happy as a parent! It doesn’t hurt to mention what you are going to do with them afterwards too…frame them, display them in your home, print them and send them to family and friends. You name it! 

Family photos in Summerfield, NC with Brooke Grogan Photography.

3. Feed them

We are all in a better mood when we aren’t hungry, am I right? Make sure no one is hungry before you have your family photos taken. Kids are more likely to be happier when their tummies are full. If you are worried someone might get “hangry” during pictures, bring snacks!

4. No sugar

This goes along with eating. Make sure you don’t give them sweets before your family pictures. Unless you want the kids to be bouncing off the walls, then I would stay away from the sugar. 

5. Promise an activity afterwards

It’s not everyday you have professional family photos taken, and it takes some practice getting comfortable with everyone in front of the camera. Some kids are more shy than others, and some kids are super outgoing and lively in front of the camera. Either way, having a fun activity for everyone after your family photos will give them something to look forward to. I’ve had clients promise something as simple as a trip to Target, or a visit to their favorite ice cream shop after their photos. It’s worth a try to offer some sort of reward or activity after your family photos to put an even bigger smile on everyone’s face!

6. Bring toys

This goes for children of all ages, but mostly the little ones. If your little one is notorious for their RBF (Resting B*&%^ Face), bring along their favorite toy that makes them smile and laugh. The little kids who aren’t quite talking yet or walking around on their own, are usually really interested in bright and shiny objects. It doesn’t hurt to bring a few toys along with you just in case you need help getting your little one to crack a smile. I also love incorporating toys because the kids come alive and look in their element when you let them play naturally. This is an ideal way to capture those beautiful lifestyle photos you love!

Fall family photos with Brooke Grogan Photography in Greensboro, NC.

That just about sums up the six tips to help you prepare your kids for family photos. I have worked with several families, and I have made mental notes each time for what works and what doesn’t when you are photographing children and their families. 

With family photos comes outfit planning as well. Here are some helpful ideas to get you started when picking out what everyone will wear for family photos!

If you are looking for a family photographer in North Carolina, I’d love to chat with you! Reach out to me today by clicking here.


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