How to prepare your children for a family film/portrait session

So, you’ve found the perfect location for your family photo, and you’ve decided on a photographer. Great, but now you keep asking yourself questions: "How will I get the kids to behave? What if the baby won’t stop drooling? How you are going to prepare your kiddos?" You have invested your valuable time and money into this photography experience and you want it to go perfectly. I have a few tips that will help to ease some of your worries and get the most out of your family photo shoot experience.

Anita Perminova Portraits and Films Amsterdam family lifestyle portrait

1. Let's face it, our kiddos are typically running the show. You schedule all the activities around their nap and eating times and if you notice them being cranky, most probably you won't be taking them to a fancy restaurant, right? The reality is, lifestyle photography gives you the freedom to relax and let go of perfection and the best way I have found to achieve that is to just let them be kids! If they want to run around the open field, super, - I will follow them around and maybe have you try to catch them. My job isn't to make your children behave perfectly and sit straight on a chair with a stiff smile, but to show you that your children are absolutely perfect just the way they are. If they want to sit on the blanket and have you read them a book, awesome. Do that (have their books and toys with you!). So PLEASE, do NOT feel embarrassed by your child’s behavior.

Anita Perminova Portraits and Films Amsterdam lifestyle family photographer film

I will capture them exploring and being them, when they can’t stand still… you walk with them and do the whole 1…2…3… wheeeee! Works every time. I will also sneak a couple of portraits of them along the way. I am OK with honest and pensive portraits of kids.

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2. Should I bring anything with me? Sure! Bring your props, books, their favorite toys to keep your kiddos happy as well as your patience. If you seem stressed, the kids are going to pick up on that too.

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3. Talk to them about what will happen. A few days before a photo shoot tell them that a friend is going to be taking your family photos. Tell them that we are going to play and we are going to a fun place. Mention to them that your friend will ask them to sit and stay in different ways and that your friend will have a photo camera and expect them to be in the photos. Show them a picture of me. Head to my About me page and show them, so I am not a stranger to them when they see me. You can also show them photos of my kiddos

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4. Make sure everyone is well fed and rested prior to the shoot. Have water on hand for the entire family. Don't go for a long walk or on a hike, swimming or a football game on the same day as your photo shoot. Make your photo session the main event. Have a big snack, hungry kids are never easy to work with.

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5. You can always offer a little reward to your little ones for being awesome. Before the photo shoot you can say "as a family let's go out and have our favorite chocolate milkshake". Turn the whole experience into a time well spent as a family, bonding and fun quality time.

That is it! I can't wait for all the sessions I have coming up in the next few months! I hope you are excited too.