5 Tips for a Stress-Free Family Photo Session | Utah Family Photographers | Utah Wedding Photographers | Jessie and Dallin

5 Tips for a Stress-Free Family Photo Session | Utah Family Photographers

April 5, 2018

Prepping for a family photo session can be really stressful! We totally get that. As parents of an almost two year old, we know that kids have their own personalities and sometimes things don’t go as planned, no matter the effort you put in. To help make your family session run as smoothly as possible, we’ve put together some of our favorite tips to help your little ones be excited about taking pictures!


1. Talk About Expectations

If your kids are old enough to understand it is important for you to communicate expectations with them before you meet up with us to take pictures. Talk to them about what will happen during the session, how you expect them to behave, and any rewards they will get for their behavior. We’d also recommend mentioning to them how much the picture session means to you and your family. Talking beforehand will help them to understand that being on their best behavior is important to you.

Family picture in Salt Lake City, Utah | Rooftop Downtown

2. Get Food and Rest

There’s nothing worse than being hangry. All the explaining of expectations in the world can’t always stop the hangry beast from showing up during a session! Be sure to make sure your kid’s tummies are full and that they’ve had plenty of rest before your session.

Mom and baby fall family picture

3. Bring Toys and Snacks

We recommend bringing some of your kid’s favorite toys, stuffed animals, or a great attention getter to your family photo session. We’ve taken some adorable pictures with kids and their stuffed animals before. Just picture how cute and candid a picture would be of your little boy playing with his toy truck! Bringing an attention getter for little kids is really useful for us to use when we’re trying to get some great family shots of everyone looking at the camera.

Along with bringing your kid’s favorite toy, we would also recommend bringing some water for them and some non-messy snacks. Something like Smarties, fruit snacks or Gold Fish would be great quick snacks to use as rewards for good behavior!

Individual portraits of kids with stuffed animal

4. Bribery!! 🙂

We aren’t against using bribery as a reward to help motivate your kids to be on their best behavior during your family photo session. We love when parents do this, and it is so helpful! Some great ideas we’ve heard from parents include: a trip to get ice cream after the session, or a new toy that is waiting for them in the car or at the store. The possibilities really are endless, but the idea is extremely effective. Also, definitely let us know what your plans are so that we can remind the kids during the session!

Fun family indoor natural light photo session

5. Breaks!

We intentionally add time in for breaks during our family sessions. Sometimes one of your little ones may need a break from pictures to calm down if needed or even for a diaper change, which is totally fine and expected! We’ll use that time to do a breakout session with different family members.


We know that kids are little and things don’t always go as planned. If you’ve done everything in your power to prepare them and you, give yourself some grace. We’ve seen it all and will be sure to get you great photos regardless of their moods. We want to make your family photo session experience as stress-free and fun as possible!

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