Preparing kids for your family photo shoot | Seattle family photographer

The weather has turned, the leaves are changing, and it's officially fall! The season for family photos is in full swing, and I thought it would be helpful to share a few tips on how to prepare kids for your family photo shoot. Hopefully these suggestions will help everyone show up on shoot day excited, ready to participate and have a great time! 

Tell your kids what is going to happen and what you expect from them

A few days or week before your photo shoot, walk them through what is going to happen on the day and during the shoot. Tell them why these family photos are important to you and what kind of pictures you are hoping to get with them. Show them old family photos and ask them what they think about the pictures they see. Tell them what you're going to use the pictures for, and how their behavior or attitude will affect the photos. Repeat this every day until the shoot so they really understand what is expected of them and why! 

Let them choose their outfit (or part of it)

My daughter Vivienne (4) will not walk out of the house unless she feels beau-tee-ful in her clothes. If I make her wear something she is not into, she will walk around with a pout on her face and her head down for hours. So...if you have a strong-willed toddler like me, involve them in choosing their outfit. Or let them add a special accessory to an outfit you have chosen for them. If they love what they're wearing, this will translate into excitement for the shoot and smiling faces in the photos! 

Incorporate meaningful activities

If your kids aren't into sitting or following directions for more than a few minutes, choose a location that will allow for activities, or bring a few things to use in the shoot. Beaches are perfect for squirmy toddlers because there are a million things to do there. If your shoot is in a grassy field, bring your child's favorite book or activity. If you can't think of anything to bring, bubbles are always a hit! 

Plan a fun family activity following the shoot

Extend the special family day together after the shoot by going out for a treat, or doing something special. Sounds a lot like a bribe, but frame it in a way that encourages cooperation. "Let's listen to the photographer and finish up our photo shoot so we can get on with our day and go out for ice cream together!" Because who isn't motivated by ice cream?!