Betsy Davis Photography | Your Next Family Photo Session: What NOT to Worry About

Your Next Family Photo Session: What NOT to Worry About

September 26, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

If you’re anything like me, your nerves get a little hijacked before having family pictures done. Even for me, a photographer, family pictures can get me a little frazzled if I let them. But I’m here to let you in on a little secret that I hope will help relieve a LOT of your anxiety….

Let’s have an honest chat for a minute. If you were here in my living room, I’d offer you some hot coffee and the coziest spot on my couch to curl your legs up. Lean in, because I really want you to hear this…

It is completely ok if your kids don’t have perfect behavior during your photo session.

THERE. Whew, I said it.

You can LET. IT. GO. Please.

I’m so serious.

As a photographer, one of the things I see getting parents the most stressed out during their photo sessions is the behavior or cooperation of their kids. But I am here to tell you: it is our JOBS as photographers to document your family, and this type of thing is not new to us or unexpected. I know you feel like your kids must be the only ones who aren’t listening, not paying attention to the camera…… but please believe me. This. Is Normal. I know it’s tempting to feel frustrated or embarrassed that your kids may not be doing exactly what you ask, but I will say it again. This. Is. Normal.

You don’t believe me? Here is an outtake from my own family’s recent photo session. I know all the tricks in the bag, my kids know the drill better than anyone, and still… We had THIS:

Photo courtesy of <a href="">Simple Joy Portraits</a>.
Photo courtesy of Simple Joy Portraits

Feel better? :)

So take a deep breath, and know that it’s all going to be completely ok. If you get stressed, it will naturally trickle down to your kids, and they will feel the pressure of your stress, only compounding the issue. But if you have hired a competent photographer, you can know that they are capturing great moments no matter what the circumstances are.

There ARE some things you can do to set yourself up for success at your next photo session! These tips will help you and your kids to get the best experience and photos.

Tips to Make Your Session a Success:

  1. Let the photographer guide them and give direction. Too many voices and directions from different people can overwhelm kids and make it harder for them to focus.

  2. Let them be little. Let them be silly. This is the best way to let their true personality shine through, and those make the best pictures anyway! Let them get bored, and don’t panic when they do. It’s OK. It really is.

  3. It’s ok to walk away. Sometimes having so many eyes on them makes kids feel nervous and overstimulated. By stepping back and letting your photographer take charge, you can remove some of the pressure for your child to “perform.” It’s not uncommon for me to take a little one to the side and giggle with them and get them relaxed, and then get some great shots.

I know that you have invested a great deal of time (and money!) into your photo session. And I know that they are important to you—These are moments that you will pass down for generations! By removing the pressure of needing “perfect” behavior from your kids, you free them up to be themselves, and that is the best thing you can do! You will end up with photos that reflect who they really are that you will cherish forever!

What gets you the most stressed about your family photos? Let me know in the comments!


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