Tips for a Successful Child Session

I know there can be a lot of nerves before your session.

What if Little Johnny doesn’t behave? What if he doesn’t follow directions? I hope he can stay in one place!

Throw these worries out the window when you are working with me. I want to capture your child naturally, not how you think he/she SHOULD be. Read some of these tips for a successful session.

Tip #1
Come to the session well rested, with well-fed children. This makes the world of difference!

Don’t tell them they are getting their picture taken and if they do a good job, they will get a reward after. You just turned the photo session into a chore. Instead, tell your child(ren) that they are going to meet a new friend at the park and they are going to have so much fun. If you are excited, they will be excited.

Tip #3
Try not to threaten your child into smiling. Most likely, that will not generate a genuine smile if they have to force a smile in order to get ice cream. Instead, be silly! Start a tickle fight or say something that really makes everyone laugh. I also have a few tricks up my sleeve.

Jodi Catherine Photography photographs two sisters at White Rock Lake, TX.

Tip #4
Don’t worry about making the kids stay in one place for the session. I understand that kids need to move around and play to stay happy. This is actually the best time to shoot them. They are happy and their natural smiles come out.

Tip #5
If your child is between 12 months and 3 years old, expect your session to be a lot of follow the baby around! I do not like to pose them at all. They control the session. This age is unpredictable, so we are forced to go with the flow!  I position myself where ever he/she wants to play, sit, or stand.

Tip #6
Allow the photographer to interact with your child or baby. If there is a particular thing that “works” – a game, a sound, a word, a song, please tell me at the beginning of your session. My goal is to have your child look directly into the camera. If you are standing to my left or right and calling your child’s name, they will be looking at you. There are times when this is what we are looking for but my goal as a custom photographer is to capture your child looking right at me so when you see that photo, it looks like they are smiling directly at you.

Jodi Catherine Photography photographs a child in Frisco, TX


Tip #7
When all else fails, be sure to bring snacks and familiar objects. This can be blankies, stuffed animals, etc. These items will help your child feel more at ease and also personalize your image. As for snacks, bring a non-messy snack. For older toddlers, a special snack might be just the thing to get a smile.

Tip #8
Be yourselves and try to have fun! The absolute best family photographs are those where the family looks comfortable and connected. If you are a silly family, be silly during your session. If dad is the comedian, by all means, bring on the jokes! If your kids like to play Peek-A-Boo, do it. After all, that’s what you want to remember in ten or twenty years, right?