We've all been there. You just want one good photo of your children together but it seems if one is behaving, the others aren't and then they keep switching. You pay a significant amount of money for a family photoshoot and then your kids are miserable.
After over 10 years photographing families and weddings, I have a few tried and true ways to guarantee at least a few winning photos of your children.
Tip #1: Bring Snacks
Okay this one seems obvious but you would be surprised by how seldom parents remember to bring snacks for their kids to their photoshoots. I get it, you're rushing and struggling to even make it to the family photo session in time, but if you're a parent, you know how a hangry child can be. Try not to bring anything super sticky or messy but something that the kids can snack on quickly.
Tip #2: Avoid stressing...it's contagious
Kids can sense stress. If you are panicking, which is so easy to do before, during and after your family photos, your kiddos are going to feel that stress and natural smiles are going to be much less likely. Instead, try to give yourself extra time. Get to your photoshoot location early and let the kids explore a bit. Book a long enough session so that you have time to take little breaks between photos.
Tip #3: Pick comfy and cute outfits
Cute outfits are always preferred for family pictures BUT make sure not to pick clothing that your kids are going to be miserable in. It's a battle that no one is going to win. Choose your outfits far ahead in time that your kids have an opportunity to wear them. See how they settle as they move around. Try to avoid tops that ride up constantly. Or things like suspenders that can be falling down. You want clothing that your kids can run around and be comfortable in.
Tip #4: Candids are King
Family photo sessions don't have to be "sit still and smile." Often, some of the best photos are the ones of your kids playing candidly. Those are when you get the real smiles, the real memories of how your kids interacted with each other at their age.
Tip #5: Make Jokes (fart jokes included)
Keeping conversation and jokes flowing is a great way to make a family photo session feel more like a fun outing and less like a burden. Fart jokes are forever a classic. Doing silly photos, playing peek a boo, etc. You know your child best. Most recently I asked one of the children that I was photographing if he knew any funny jokes. He asked me "why did the lizard cross the road?"...."to die." So keep that one in your arsenal for later. You're welcome.
Leave me your favorite ways to get some good smiles out of your kiddos in the comments below.