2023, Education

April 20, 2023

How To Prepare For A Stress-Free Family Photoshoot | Part 2: A Guide For Kids

How To Prepare For A Stress-Free Family Photoshoot | Part 2: A Guide For Kids

family photoshoot

Family photoshoots are a magical and heartwarming experience that (most) mothers dream of. It’s an opportunity to create cherished memories with your loved ones and capture beautiful keepsakes that you can cherish forever. But, let’s be honest, the process of preparing for a family photoshoot can be stressful, especially with little ones. As a mother, you want your family to look and act their best, and with a little bit of planning and preparation, you can make the photoshoot experience both fun and stress-free for your kids and the entire family. Here are some steps you can take to ensure that your kiddo is set up for success!

  • If you missed the last blog post about how to prepare as parents, you can check that out here!

-The Preparation-


It is so important to connect with your child before the photo shoot to make sure they feel comfortable and excited about the upcoming session. Although surprises can be thrilling, children can also feel hesitant about participating in events they’re unsure about. To ease any worries, simply explain that you’ll be spending time with a friend who will capture some amazing memories of your family having fun together. It’s important to encourage your child to ask questions and voice any concerns they may have. You could even show them my photo on my website’s bio page, so they can become more familiar with me before the shoot. By communicating with your child in advance, you can help them feel more relaxed and prepared to enjoy this special experience with the whole family.

Try On Clothes Before

Taking a few extra steps before the big day can help ensure that your child feels comfortable and happy during the photo session. Have your child try on their outfit ahead of time, making sure that the fabric is soft and cozy, and that there are no tags or hair clips that might cause discomfort. It’s also important to keep in mind the weather and choose an outfit that will keep them feeling just right – not too hot or too cold. We understand that when children are comfortable, they’re more likely to be in a positive mood and behave well during the session. By putting their comfort first, we can help create a successful and enjoyable photo shoot for everyone.

-The Day Of-

Eat & Sleep!

To make sure everyone looks and feels their best for the photo session, it’s important to focus on self-care leading up to the big day – parents included! Don’t underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep or a midday nap, and if you can, sneak in an extra one on the day of the shoot. It’s also essential to have a satisfying meal beforehand, so you don’t end up feeling “hangry” mid-session. Remember to pack extra clothes and arrive early to have plenty of time to change and prepare. By taking care of these little details, we can all feel more relaxed and at ease during the shoot, leading to even better photos.

Let The Kids Be Kids

As a photographer, I’ve learned that the best photos come from capturing children in their natural element. So, parents, please don’t stress about getting your kids to sit still and smile for the camera. My photography style embraces the beauty and spontaneity of childhood, and I strive to capture those magical moments when kids are just being themselves – playing, exploring, and having fun.

I know that it’s not always easy to get kids to cooperate during a photo shoot. That’s why I create a relaxed and comfortable environment where your little ones can feel at ease. I never force them to pose or smile a certain way, but instead, encourage them to be themselves. Sometimes, the best photos come when they’re not even looking at me!

I always remind parents that photos don’t capture sound. So, don’t worry if your toddler has a meltdown during the shoot. I’ll work around it! It’s okay to take a break if your child needs one, and I encourage parents to relax and enjoy the moment. These photos are a testament to the love and joy you share as a family, and I want to capture that in the most authentic way possible.

Bring A Comfort Item

If your child has a favorite blanket or stuffed animal that they take with them everywhere, be sure to bring it along to the photoshoot. It’s natural for children to feel uneasy in new environments with new people, so having something familiar and comforting can go a long way in helping them feel at ease. By providing a sense of security, your child will be better equipped to participate in the photo session and enjoy the experience.

Arrive Early

Arriving at least 10 minutes early to your photo session can be beneficial for your kids. It provides an opportunity for them to stretch their legs and move around a bit before the shoot begins, helping to release some of their energy. This can make it easier for them to focus and participate during the photo session. Additionally, arriving early can help ensure that you’re not feeling rushed or stressed, allowing everyone to approach the experience in a more relaxed and positive way. So, try to plan ahead and give yourself and your kids a little extra time to prepare for the session.

-Some Things To Consider-

Avoid bribing your child during the photo shoot. Research has shown that children under the age of five do not understand the concept of delayed gratification, not to mention the individual differences in cognitive skills, like executive functioning. Promising them a reward in the future will not motivate them to cooperate. Instead, try to make the experience fun and enjoyable for your child. This can help create a relaxed and positive atmosphere, which can lead to better photos in the end.

While you may want everything to be perfect during the photo shoot, try not to stress about small things like adjusting your hair or fixing your child’s outfit. Sometimes we only have a limited time to capture the perfect shot, particularly when dealing with toddlers, and you don’t want to miss the moment by worrying about small details. Rest assured that I will fix anything that needs to be adjusted or corrected, allowing you to focus on enjoying the moment with your child.

By letting go of perfectionism and embracing spontaneous moments, we can create a relaxed and enjoyable environment that allows your child’s true personality to shine through in the photos. Trust me to handle the details, and simply enjoy the experience with your family.

-You’ve Got This!-

As a mother and photographer, I understand how preparing for a family photoshoot can be overwhelming, but rest assured, I am here to guide you every step of the way. I will make sure that your family photoshoot is not only stress-free but also a joyful and unforgettable experience for your entire family! My priority is to create a comfortable environment where your children can be themselves, and where I can capture the true essence of your family’s love and happiness. Let me be your family’s storyteller, and together, we can create magical and heartwarming memories that will last a lifetime. Your family deserves nothing less than the best, and I am honored to be a part of it.


Mischel, W., Shoda, Y., and Rodriguez, M. I. (1989). Delay of gratification in children. Science 244, 933–938. doi: 10.1126/science.2658056

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar


Leah Parks of Nightingale and Willow Photography

PS: Be sure to check back next week for part 3!

Leah Parks with Nightingale and Willow Photography is an Indianapolis area based lifestyle photographer specializing in family, maternity, newborn, and milestone photography.

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