Planning a family photo session is an exciting and joyful experience for parents, but it can also be a little bit stressful. As a parent, you know that getting your kids to cooperate can be a real challenge. Between fussy babies, stubborn toddlers, and moody teenagers, preparing for family photos can cause a headache or two. You might find yourself worrying about everything from what they’ll wear to how they’ll behave in front of the camera. 

But don’t fret! With a few practical tips and a bit of patience, you can prepare your clan for your family photo session without any major meltdowns. 

In this post, I’ll share five tried-and-true strategies that will help you prepare your family for a fun, memorable photo session. 

Discuss the photo session in advance

Kids understand more than we give them credit for, so why not chat with them about the session before the day? You can explain what a photo session is and how it’s going to work to help them understand what to expect on the day. Take some time to share the importance of capturing family memories and creating beautiful keepsakes that you can all look back on. Also, mention that it’s an opportunity to have some fun and bond as a family – you can’t go wrong with that! 

Family of three during a family photo session

Encourage kids to be themselves

Let them wear comfortable clothes that they like and allow them to choose their outfits if possible (although you may want to provide some guidance!). Not sure what to dress them in? Grab my “What to Wear Guide” below.

Also, let them decide a few poses that they feel comfortable with and encourage them to show off their personalities. This way, they’ll feel relaxed and confident during the session. Ultimately, kids will be kids, so let them run amuck and enjoy the process. Don’t worry about everything being “perfect,” the fun, silly moments make for the most memorable photos anyway. 

Make it a fun experience

Incorporating some exciting activities can help to make the photo session a special and fun experience. You can bring along props that they’ll enjoy playing with, such as balloons or bubbles. Additionally, you can ask them to bring along a favourite toy or item they love. If you treat the photo session like playtime, both the kids and you will feel so much more relaxed. 

Dad, toddler, mum, and baby during a family photo session

Have a practice session

If you’ve explained to your kids that you’ve got an upcoming photo session, you could have a bit of fun with a “practice session.” The purpose of this is twofold: 1) to get them excited about the shoot, and 2) to help your kids feel comfortable in front of the camera (although I can assure you, most kids do not have a problem with this!). You can take some test shots at home or in a nearby park using your phone. You can also take this opportunity to encourage them to try out fun poses and expressions to help them feel confident in front of the camera.

Prepare some rewards

Finally, prepare some rewards for your kids for being on their best behaviour during the photo session. This can be something as simple as going for ice cream after the shoot or getting Happy Meals from Mcdonald’s on the way home. Rewards will motivate them to do their best and make the session more exciting for them. Your photographer may also come prepared with some rewards of their own!

If it comes to your photo session and the kids are becoming a little restless or uncooperative, don’t worry. My Complimentary Reshoot Guarantee means that if something isn’t right, I’ll reschedule the shoot at no extra cost to you. 

Family of four during a photo session

Preparing your kids for a family photo session can be a lot of fun. By discussing the session in advance, encouraging them to be themselves, making it a fun experience, having a practice session, and preparing some rewards, you can help them feel comfortable and confident during the photo shoot.


April 19, 2023

Kids playing during a family photo session

5 Tips for Preparing Your Kids for Family Photos

Hannah Redman