5 Tips for Great Family Photos

Keeping with the theme of family photos, I thought I’d offer up 5 Tips for great Family Photos. These 5 tips & few tricks should help you prepare for your upcoming family photos with your kiddos so that it’s less stressful for you & more fun for your kids.

How to make Family Photos go smoothly.
Top 5 Tips for making Family Photos go smoothly.

Some of us dread the annual family photo session because our kids just make things, well harder. Kids aren’t always easy to deal with, I know I have 2, but hopefully these tips will help.

1. Don’t make it a big deal.

If you’re stressed out & cranky, your kids will usually pick up on it and act accordingly. Remember they’re sponges & that doesn’t just work with the accidental f’bomb they drop because they hear us say it. Their behavior will be better if you are relaxed & having fun. You may have to make some compromises to keep the peace, like letting your energetic daughter’s hair stay straight instead of curling it because she won’t sit still. Just focus on the big picture & don’t sweat the small stuff.

Candid moments with your kids make for great family photos.
Taking photos at a place that makes your kids happy will also help!

Let the kids, tickle you & make you laugh or look off in another direction. These are the real moments you’ll treasure forever, over the perfectly posed photo that you only remember being frustrated with the kids while trying to capture it.

Keeping the kids laughing during Family Photos.

2. Make it fun!

Sessions with me tend to have a lot of candid moments, which keep kids happy. But if your session is with another photographer, try to let the kids have a few “fun pictures” where they get to pick their own pose or props. You get to keep the more “serious” posed photos while they get to keep their silly ones. This way everyone wins. Who knows, you might end up loving theirs more than the static poses.

If you’re struggling to get your kids to sit still, turn the photo session into a game. Simon Says usually works like a charm. You can also prompt them with things that will excite them, like telling a story of their favorite thing they did over the summer or doing a big family jump.

Family fun that distract kids from the photos.

You can also make silly faces that make everyone smile & laugh or bring things that your kids like to play with that make for fun photos, like bubbles!

Making family photos fun.

Or, if you’re at a cool location like El Dorado Canyon Mine Tours (a.k.a. Nelson’s Landing) find something fun to help break the ice. Get them playing so they forget they’re having their picture taken.

Make family photos fun with toys & games.
Find something to play with to take their mind off the photo shoot.

3. Be prepared.

If you’re going to be out for several hours, ensure that your children are well rested & have had their nap. Bringing some water, snacks & activities along is also a great idea. If you are having your own photos taken too then you might want to bring a babysitter or family member along to keep an eye on the kids. If you happen to be shooting in a remote location, you never know when you might need something like bug spray, sunscreen, tissues or a first aid kit so bring that along too.

*Life Hack* Smarties are one of my favorite little “bribes” for kids who aren’t in the mood to smile. Once they pop it in their mouth it’s hidden & oops, they’re smiling!

Laguna Beach family photos.

4. Be patient.

Save your sanity by trying not to control the photo session too much. Sometimes the best photos come from kids just doing their own thing. Work with your photographer & your photos will look fantastic. If it’s me, you know I’m not judging your kids running wild, I’ve got boys who only ever do just that! I get it!!!

Great Family Photos with candid moments are the most genuine.
Let your kids take the lead! Have them point out things they see & let them explore a little.
5 tips for great family photos. Keep kids happy by asking what they want to do.
Consider letting your kids suggest where they want a picture, or what they want to do!

5. Have a chat.

Help your kids feel more comfortable around your photographer by getting them talking. Have them tell you & the photographer about stuff like school, friends or even show off their favorite Fortnight dance. For most kids it completely distracts them from the fact that they’re having their picture taken. It will not only make them more comfortable, but will also give your photographer a chance to capture a few candid & cute expressions.

Dance offs make for great Family Photos.
Showin’ off those sick dance moves!
Nelson's Landing family photos.
Go with the flow, I promise your photographer will get Holiday Card worthy photos!
Great candid photos prompted by fart noises.
Asking boys the “gross” questions about their siblings will always get real laughs!

So, those are my quick tips to make your upcoming family portraits more fun & less painful. I hope it helps!

If you’re wondering what my available dates are for Fall Family Portraits, check out the dates & book your session before it’s too late.

Family, Tips

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