Are you nervous about your upcoming family portrait session? Are wondering if your kids will cooperate and smile for the photographer? Are you running through various scenarios you hope won't happen?

Let me just ease your mind a little and give you a few tips to prepare yourself and your children.

  1. Schedule your session for a time of day that isn't smack dab in the middle of nap time or an hour past bedtime. I know you've heard golden hour is the PERFECT MOST BEAUTIFUL time to schedule photos but taking your child's sleep schedule is crucial to making sure they are the best version of themselves for their photos. And if you photographer is truly skilled, they will make whatever time of day and lighting condition work.
  2. Feed them prior to arriving for the session.
  3. While dressing them in cute outfits that coordinate wit the rest of the family is important, it's also to make sure what they are wearing is comfortable to them.
  4. Bring a favorite toy or blanket that you wouldn't mind ending up in the photos
  5. Be prepared with a reward your kids will love for good behavior. Whether it's 10 minutes of extra time before bed, a stop for ice cream on the way home, or a toy they've been eyeing, it's completely normal to let your kid know that they will be rewarded for good behavior. It's even ok to let the photographer know what the reward is and she will for sure use it at the exact moment that she needs it.
  6. Trust your photographer. I totally get it, as a mom it's hard to turn off the mom brain and let someone else direct your kids, especially when you are standing right there. Your photographer is skilled at this, she has about a million games, tricks, silly voices, and dance moves up her sleeve and she is ready and prepared to get your kids authentically smiling and laughing for the photo.
  7. Go with the flow. Some of my all time favorite photos are of unscripted, impromptu dance sessions, or older siblings helping younger siblings feel comfortable in front of the camera... don't be afraid to let your guard down and let your photographer capture your family as it truly is, you will not be disappointed.