Tips to prepare for your session with young children | Michigan Lifestyle Photographer

As a momma to 4 little ones, I get that preparing for a family session can be a lot. Making sure everyone is dressed, fed, rested, and happy is not an easy task when it comes to the unpredictability of young children. The day of your session tensions can run high as you try to get everyone “picture perfect”.

It can be a bit of a mind game really, but I have some tricks that I want to share with you that will help you prepare for your family photography session.

5 tips to prepare for a session with kids!

mom running through grass, holding dad's hand, dad holding baby

01. Build the hype!

Your kids will follow your lead. If you are feeling stressed the day of your session, chances are the kiddos will feel it too. Instead of letting your nerves run the show, try talking about how excited you are and how much fun you will have. Your kids will mirror your vibe and set the tone for your session.

02. Bribery

Yep, it nearly works every time and I promise there will be zero judgement. 😉 Depending on the age of your kids (and their attention span) plan a special treat for after the session, or bring a small treat, like smarties or fruit snacks, that you can pull out throughout the session when your kiddos get a little distracted. Just make sure the treat is something that isn’t messy like chocolate or crackers.

family playing at the beach at lake Michigan
mom holding baby on the beach while waves crash over them, little girl playing with moms hair

03. Let them be mischievous

Kids can sometimes get excited, and maybe a little overwhelmed during a family session. Letting them be a little mischievous (within reason) allows them to feel more freedom and less pressure. Prepare your mind for this ahead of time and it will be easier for you to keep that beautiful smile on your face while your little ones play… the genuine expressions that will be captured while your kiddos are being authentically themselves will be priceless.

04. No expectations

I actually recommend that you do not come with a list of exact poses to replicate. (Inspiration is totally ok!) It could cause your images to feel forced or unnatural if your goal is to have a picture that looks just like the one you saw on Pinterest. Instead, focus on connecting with your family. Without expectations your images will be stunningly and uniquely YOU .

Family playing in the Lake Michigan dunes, moms dress is flowing, dad plays airplane with little girl
mom snuggles little girl, hair blowing in the wind, golden sunlight

05. Go with the flow

This one might be obvious by now, but it is easier said than done. When you invest in a photography session you want to make sure that you leave with precious memories documented. That is the whole point right? Kids are unpredictable and it’s almost automatic for us parents to want to control the situation. During a session it’s important to let go of that control and let the kiddos lead a little.

Are you interested in a session for your family? Let’s get connected!

Alissa Saylor is an award winning lifestyle and portrait photographer in west Michigan specializing in intimate motherhood, family, baby, maternity, and newborn photography. 

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