5 Tips For a smoother child Portrait Session

5 Tips For a smoother child Portrait Session

Ottawa Children’s Photographer

At times, kids can be tough to photograph. So, I decided to help parents out by writing 5 Tips for a smoother child portrait session.

5 Tips For a smoother child Portrait Session

First, I want to say that if you’ve been guilty of any of these things listed below, don’t worry. Quite a few of my clients have made one or more of these mistakes. That’s why I decided to give some helpful tips. I’ve learned as I’ve taken family portraits of small children to know what is needed or not needed to make their portrait session go much more smoothly.  It’s not meant to guilt trip past clients or to point fingers.


5 Helpful tips

1. Full Bellies

Don’t bring your kids to a photo session with empty stomachs.  In other words, don’t plan on going out for dinner after the portrait session. Why? Because your kids will most likely be “hangry” (hungry + angry). To avoid a meltdown, either feed them beforehand, or bring easy snacks they can eat.  Note about snacks: bring snacks that aren’t going to be messy or dirty their faces or clothes. So, nothing red or orange, like strawberries or carrot juice. Noting juicy, like fruit. Think crackers or dried fruit. This leads into Tip number two:

2. Don’t feed your kids sugar before or during the photo shoot

Say NO to sugary snacks because you don’t want hyper kids! I have NEVER seen a child behave better by getting candy during their session. Giving candies or other sugary treats to a kid to help them behave is like adding gasoline to a smouldering fire…it doesn’t put it out, but only makes it worse.

One more thing about giving treats to kids for good behaviour: If you want to give you kids treats to entice them to behave during the photo shoot, don’t give them the treats throughout the photo shoot! I’ve seen this done quite a few times and it doesn’t actually make the kids behave better. Why?  Probably because they’ve been getting the treats every 5-10 minutes, so they know they’re going to get another treat soon. Why bother changing your behaviour when you know you’re gonna get the treat anyway? Instead, if you told them that they’ll get the treats ONLY after the photo shoot, once they’ve proven that they behaved, then that might work out better for you.


3. Bring Something Entertaining

I’m not talking about whipping out a tablet or iphone, because we all know that once an electronic device gets whipped out, all of the kids’ attention will be to get it and play with it. I’m talking about their favourite toy. For babies or very small children, a squeaky toy would help. I sometimes use them above my camera and then squeak them to get the baby/child to look in my direction, instead of elsewhere.


4. Be Patient

It may take a while for kids to warm up to their photographer. After all, most kids have a fear of strangers, so if they’ve never met their photographer before, they’ll most likely be closed off and apprehensive towards that person.


5. Make it Fun

Don’t stress yourself or your kids out by getting angry that they don’t want to pose during the photo session. If we get your kids doing fun things, they can`t help but smile. We can get some photos of you walking or running.  Maybe some photos of the kids on your shoulders.


Book a Portrait Session

I love shooting outdoor portrait sessions. There’s so many beautiful spots I can recommend for your family or child’s portrait session. Contact me to book your portrait session.

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