Wedding Photographer Blog

5 Tips for Surviving Family Portraits With Children

Shannon Arney - Tuesday, March 15, 2016
5 Tips for Surviving Family Portraits With Children


You have contacted Fusion and your Family Portrait Session date is set, the clothes are picked out, the family has been forewarned, now all that is left is for everyone to sit perfectly, look straight at the camera and flash those irresistible, genuine smiles. YEAH RIGHT! We all know that children –and some adults- bring along a bit of the unexpected in everything they do. Why should we expect anything different at a family portrait session? In order to help you get the most out of your upcoming family portraits, we are sharing our top Family Portrait Survival Tips.


5 Tips for Surviving Family Portraits With Children
  1. Feed those kids! This debuts at the top of the list because we feel it is 100% the most important tip. Even the adults should adhere to this pointer. Hungry children are difficult on normal days when there isn’t a stranger waving a large camera in their face, so make sure everyone has full bellies. This makes for more smiles and a lot less tears. Also make sure to bring bribes - I mean snacks!  This is a special event that will translate into lasting and priceless wall art. If there ever was an appropriate time for bribes, we at Fusion say that Family Portrait Sessions are definitely it!Toddler Girl walking with parents in Davidson NC
  2. Dress for the weather. We know the dress you picked out for little Susie is the cutest, but being hot or cold will make anyone miserable. Preemptively combat the whiny by making sure to check the weather the day of your shoot so you aren’t surprised by a 15 degree drop in temperature. Layers are always helpful for photo shoots because they not only look great, but they can be shed as needed. 
  3. Bring items that have meaning to your kids. Photo shoots can be overwhelming to small children. Bringing something familiar and meaningful like blankies or stuffed animals will add more than just a smile to your portraits. The meaning behind these possessions will shine through your family photographs, bringing you back to every little memory associated with those items. Following this small tip can truly transform a photograph into an irreplaceable work of art.Dad and his three sons standing on skateboards in Charlotte NC
  4. Bring on the SILLY! The best pictures are those that feel natural and genuine. Forced poses and “CHEEESE!” smiles don’t exactly produce the images we are after. We ask clients to be themselves and enjoy Family Portrait Sessions; if there is something in particular that always elicits a laugh from your child –bunny ears, the tickle monster, a toss in the air, you name it - then we want to see it happening. Making this a fun occasion will help the genuine smiles appear and we will be there to capture the moments as they occur. Most importantly we like to stress that everyone does NOT have to be looking at the camera to create great family portraits. Some of the best images are those where all eyes are focused on each other rather than the camera.
  5. Be patient with your kids.  This is second runner up to the most important survival tip! We know what it is like to have kids and don’t expect them to show up wiggle free. Trust us, mentally preparing for this will eliminate unnecessary stress. Embrace the chaos! ;-) We want kids to have the freedom to move around and do whatever comes natural during a session. Following the cues of children will ALWAYS create genuine and memorable moments for us to capture. This being said, we will be there to guide everyone along the way so that we can deliver the family portraits you've always envisioned hanging on your wall.
Family embraced and walking along bring pathway in Davidson NC

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They made sure we were comfortable with the camera at our engagement photo session which put me at ease on my wedding day! Our pictures turned out beautiful and we couldn't have asked for a better experience!

Jenny & Peter

Jenny & Peter