Parents say this to me all of the time:

“We can’t have family photos, my kids are too young and won’t behave” ‍‍Um, YES YOU CAN!! I’ve done numerous family shoots with young children who have been great during the shoot.

That’s exactly why I have created this blog!

To help you take the stress out of having family photographs with young children.

1. Talk to your kids beforehand about the photo shoot

Get your children excited for their photoshoot! Talk to them in a positive way about the session, this will frame the session as a happy and fun experience to look forward to. Let them know who the photographer will be, how long they will be busy with the session and what they can expect. It can also be helpful to tell them about a treat they might get afterwards... this often helps younger children stay focused.

2. Have everyone fed and bring extra snacks

No one is happy is they are tired or hungry. Especially with young children, ensure everyone is well rested and fed prior to the session. Bring some of their favourite snacks along in case of grumbly tummies and don't forget the water to stay hydrated. If you see your child needs a short break, don't be afraid to tell the photographer.

3. Make sure kids are comfortable in what they are wearing

Along with styling your family for your session, ensure that what you have chosen for your children to wear is comfortable for them. Try to avoid materials that scratch or clothing that is too warm or too cold - dependant on the weather and location. If you're uncertain, bring layers. If you are wanting your child to wear something they haven't worn before, get them used to it and excited about that item for a couple of days before your session.

4. Let your child smile naturally

Leave it up to your photographer to engage with your children and evoke authentic smiles. Having the pressure of the camera and parents telling them to smile and say cheese overstimulate and confuse a young child.

5. Parents, stay positive and have fun – your kids will pick up on your mood!

Relax and smile! Your children will respond more positively and authentically if you are happy and laid back. Be patient and calm and let the photographer do the work. If you are tense and try to force your children to sit still and smile you are more likely to get tears and tantrums. Trust your photographer to know how to get real laughter and smiles from your children.

And there you have it! These 5 secrets will ensure you all enjoy your family photoshoot experience which will in turn, create beautiful images and memories to cherish.