Tips for preparing your child for their photo session

Whimsical portrait of Perth girl in flower field at sunset

Your session is right around the corner! Are you ready? We’ve prepared a checklist of things for you to remember in order to make sure your child is prepared for their big day! 

1. It is a great idea to feed your child or give them a quick snack just before you leave home for the session. Also, pack snacks just in case hunger strikes again while we’re shooting. But think of snacks that are simple and no mess. 

2. Bring more than one outfit. It always a good idea to have backup clothes just in case. A change of outfits also adds variety in the photos. Its better than having your full gallery in the same outfit. When you  view the final images, you may end up preferring images in one outfit better than the other.

3. Let your child help when picking out their clothes for the session. By letting your child wear his favorite shirt or shoes, etc. this will help him feel more comfortable and involved. If his chosen outfit doesn’t match or fit the styling, see if you can use that shirt as an undershirt or tell him he can put it on for a couple of shots at the end of the session. 

4. Try to keep the day of your session free from too many activities so your child is well rested and happy.

5. Be creative with incentives that motivate. I always bring heaps of props with me. I have a selection of carefully chosen props that look amazing in the photos and the kids are usually very excited to play with the them.

6. If you have an outdoor shoot planned, it’s helpful to arrive a little earlier than our meeting time so that your children can have a run around, relax, and are in good spirits when the shoot gets started.

This will set the session up positively, and gives them a chance to let off some steam before the shoot.

7. Talk to your child about the session and explain what’s going to happen. If your child is informed about the situation, it will be less scary for her when she comes to the session. Tell her that she is going to meet a new friend who is going to take some pictures of her. Let her know that you’ll be there with her and that we are going to have lots of fun. We might change her clothes once or twice and ask her to just have fun. During the session, we can show her a couple of the photos so she can put two and two together.

8. If your children are aged 7 or under, it’s probably quite likely that they’ll have a moment on the shoot. I’m expecting it to happen at some point, and I’m sure that most other experienced photographers are too. So if it does happen please don’t worry! I actually find that during mischievous moments I can capture a lot of personality.

If it does happen and your child has a wobble, it can sometimes be more helpful for you (and other siblings) to step out of your child’s sight; without an audience children are often a lot more focussed, particularly around people they don’t know so well!

9. I have a few tricks up my sleeve to gain children’s attention, leave all that up to me! But something that is helpful is to know a few of your child’s favourite things are so I can bring them up while talking.

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