How to prepare kids for a photo shoot

A professional photo session is an exciting experience.  But what if my children don’t behave on the day?! The first thing I must say is please don’t worry! For me as a photographer, I am never bothered by childrens’ behavior…  😉  It’s all apart of who the kids are and capturing their personalities is what I’m striving for at every shoot.  You want the experience to be fun and the pictures to turn out amazing?  Here are my recommendations of what works well.

The most important thing for babies and toddlers is to make sure that they are well fed and well rested before the session. Generally mornings are better, but it should always be after a nap, so that the baby is in the best possible mood.

If your baby takes a pacifier, bring it – if they’re bottle fed, bring an extra bottle to help put the baby to sleep.


Make sure your children are not hungry and bring lots of extra snacks and lots of water/drinks. Try to bring snacks that are small and not messy.

Talk to your kids before about the photo shoot, tell them something fun and exciting is going to happen. Show them other pictures you have of them or the family and tell them that is what they get to do.

Let your child smile naturally 🙂 A cheesy smile is not what you want.   The best way to get a real smile is to actually make your child laugh or smile. It’s our job as adults to be funny and help the child feel relaxed.  Don’t stress. Relax and have fun!

Get everything ready the day before. This will ensure that portrait day will go smoothly.


Clothing plays a huge part in creating a successful portrait.  Avoid clothing with very strong patterns /stripes. Solid colors are an absolute must.
Prints and patterns distract the eye and draw attention away from everything else in the image but subdued patterns would do the job just as well. I always not recommended wearing clothes with shiny reflective items like beads or sequin.  

Logos should be discreet not overpowering. Or even better, no logos at all!

What colors to wear?
Pastels and happy colors in general look great on children. For siblings or family pictures matching colors are best. You don’t necessarily all need to have matching outfits, but tops and bottoms should all be of the same/similar  tones.
I would recommend you choose 2 or 3 colours and then mix and match them between you. This works really well in a studio portrait.
If you are a family of all girls you could use different shades of pinks and creams and then put dad in denim and grey or grey and white.
For a family of boys, you can use blues, greys, denim and whites. This also works for girls, you can put them in a dress to add a more feminine take on the blue for example.

Personally I also love images when you are all wearing white or white and denim. White, denim and grey also work well.

During the photoshoot parents are responsible for siblings and other children that came with them and are walking or crawling.