1. Bring snacks. A child with a full belly is a happy one. Try to have some snacks on hand on the way to the session, or feed everyone a snack before the session. It’s amazing how this can reset the mood.
2. Naps: try to schedule your session for your children’s “happy” time of day. The best light is usually two hours before sunset, but if your children are usually happy in the morning then a lifestyle session at home might be a good choice. If they are happy after an early dinner or late afternoon snack, then an early evening session around golden hour will work for you.
3. Clothing: this is probably the biggest source of stress besides children’s behaviour. If fashion is not really your thing, it can be hard to pick out coordinating outfits for everyone. A general rule of thumb is to pick two or three colours and stick to that palate. It’s a good idea to try and tie the colour palate in to your location so that you fit in with your surroundings.
4. No pressure: prepare your children for the photo session, but you don’t have to threaten them to behave. If they are reluctant to come you could promise a trip to the park, ice-cream, or another special treat. If they do have a meltdown during the session, don’t worry, they are usually smiling again a few minutes later!
5. Communicate: let your photographer know which shots are important to you. If getting a shot of everyone looking at the camera is your number one goal, be sure to make it known. Photographers will do anything within their power to get the shots you want and to listen to what you want. That being said, there must be a level of understanding of children’s unpredictability, sometimes meaning you may not get the exact shot you have in mind.
6. Prepare the kids: tell them that you are going to have a family adventure and you all have to get dressed up. Try to add an element of fun!. If they are not convinced, schedule a trip to the park or the like after a the session if they listen well.