Family Photography Session

7 Tips to Prepare for Photography Sessions with Littles

A few weeks ago, my family and I took some family Christmas photos.  I was so apprehensive about this photo session because my one-year-old is so UNPREDICTABLE. Surprisingly, everything went well, and we got some fantastic shots and some I will even use for our greeting cards this year. Since I had some photographic success, I want to share with you the 7 things we did to get ready for our day.

Prepare all clothing the day before.

The day before our photo session, I ironed everyone’s clothes and laid them out exactly like I wanted them to look the day of. I gathered shoes, accessories, and all jewelry and put them in one place so we would not forget.

Make “go” bags for everyone.

This was a lifesaver! My husband and I made bags with snacks, toys, masks, hair supplies, extra shoes (flats for me!), and supplies to touch up my makeup. The toys were a great distraction for my toddler and for my seven-year-old. We also thought that the toys might help focus our toddler’s smile and eyes for the photos, but we ended up not needing them for that. I gave Tajh (the one-year-old) a snack right before our session began.  Now this was what I considered a “clean” snack; meaning it wouldn’t make a big mess or leave stuff on his teeth.

Start getting dressed early.

I started getting dressed about three and a half hours before we needed to leave for our photo session.  Starting this early, allowed me to get myself almost all the way done before helping my daughter, my son, and my husband with whatever touch-ups they needed. Because all the clothing was laid out exactly like I wanted it to be pictured, my husband was able to dress our son without asking me 21 questions.

**Photography Credits: Holly J Photography LLC, Shreveport Photographer

Naps! Naps! Naps!

Be sure your littles get some rest before your session. Sasha, my seven-year-old, doesn’t take naps anymore, but Tajh definitely benefits in the MOOD DEPARTMENT from his daily naps. Our session destination was an hour and a half away from where we live, so I made sure Tajh stayed awake until we were on our way. He immediately fell asleep once we got on the road and didn’t wake until we arrived at our destination.

Opt for an experienced photographer.

If you are in a time crunch and have littles, this is MAJOR. Experienced photographers already have a vault of wisdom to pull from when it comes to posing, camera usage, routines, and more. They know how to quickly get in and get out; which is so helpful when taking photographs with littles. This leads me to my next tip:

Opt for the mini session.

Mini sessions are just what they sound like: very short photography sessions.

Because toddlers have short attention spans and usually don’t like to stay still for very long, mini sessions are perfect for capturing your beautiful family without all the fuss of wardrobe changes and various prop and background setups.



Be sure you take a moment to relax and remind yourself and your family that this is going to be fun. Don’t expect perfection and allow your family’s personality to shine.  After all, that’s really what this is about. Right?!

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