What do I do to make sure my kids are not a mess before their family photo session? This is the top question I am asked when families are booking their family photo sessions with me. First, let me tell you, it’s OKAY if your kids are crabby! I’m a mama of four, so I get it. Babies, toddlers, and kids (even husbands) get cranky during their family photo sessions. It is completely expected and completely normal! My job as your photographer is to work with your kids (and hubby, haha) to quickly turn things around and make your session fun for everyone, even the crabbiest of toddlers. However, there are a few things you can do to get your kids, toddlers, and babies ready for a session.

Talk about your family photo session and your photographer

It’s important to start talking to your kids about the session ahead of time. I suggest talking about it when you start looking for outfits. Let them be involved. Offer to let them bring their favorite “snuggy” or toy to get a special photo with. Tell them that the photo session is something fun for the whole family to do together! The more excited you sound, the more excited and cooperative they will be when the day comes.

Another way to help them get excited it is to talk about the photographer! Show them a photo of your photographer. Tell them everything you know about him or her: “Lauren has a little girl your age too!” “Lauren took photos of you when you were a baby!”

Eat before your session

Oh my goodness, I have made this mistake before and it is not a fun one to make! Hungry kids (and husbands) are probably the crabbiest of all. Of course you do not want to feed the kids while they are dressed in their best for their family photo session. Eat right before heading out to your session; just make sure you leave time for a quick change into their outfits after eating. A good bribe for kids is the promise of a trip for ice cream after a fun photo session.

Choosing the right photographer

Parents want their kids to have authentic smiles (and lots of giggles) for the photographer to capture during their family photo session. Choosing the right photographer is probably the most important way to be sure your kids are cooperative and happy during that one hour of family photos. A photographer who is excellent with kids often comes highly recommended!


Is your family ready to book a family photo session? Contact me here to get details on how to book your next photo session with Lauren Cerna Photography.