One of the most common questions I get from parents is, “how do I get my kids to cooperate for photos?”. Here are five tips and tricks to make sure your family photos go smoothly without any meltdowns or tears. Most kids, and some adults, hate having their photos taken. Consider these ideas as things you can try to make sure your whole family is on board during your family photos.
1. Plan to offer a "treat" after the photos are done (trip to Target, ice cream, favorite activity)
This is a huge incentive to get your kids and family to cooperate during family photos. Most people would enjoy knowing there is some sort of incentive for them if they agree to something they aren’t necessarily excited about. A lot of families I’ve worked with will promise ice cream, a trip to Target, gummy bears, you name it! Throughout the photo session, if someone starts to act up, the parents will usually mention the treat and remind them that they need to behave to get their reward afterward – and it usually works in the parents' favor!
2. Make sure no one is hungry
Not many people are happy or easy to be around when they’re hungry. This goes for adults and kids. Do yourself a favor and make sure no one is hungry before your photos. If your photos are scheduled during a “snack time”, then bring some snacks along with you just in case someone gets hangry!
3. Dress everyone comfortably
Let’s eliminate something else that might make you or the kids irritable. If you or the kids aren’t dressed comfortably, it may show in their attitude or the way they smile for family photos. Think about it, if someone is tugging on what they’re wearing because it’s uncomfortable then the photos won’t turn out quite as good if they were wearing something a little more comfortable.
4. Bring favorite toys
This is especially helpful with little kids. It’s a great way to get some good smiles out of them if you have their favorite squeaky toy to get their attention. It can also be fun to incorporate kids' toys in some of your family photos as a nice memory to look back on. If you have any antique wooden toys that are family heirlooms those add even more meaning to the photos.
5. Have fun!
Let’s not take this too seriously! After all, we want you and your family to have fun during these family photos! I always make a point to connect with each person I’m photographing so they develop a sense of trust and can tell you’re not just there to take their picture, I genuinely want to get to know my clients and what they’re all about. So, don’t be afraid to tell a few jokes, tickle the little ones, or make your partner laugh during your family photos.