Camera tricks? No. Magic?? No . . . Bribery?? Possibly.
I have 4 kids, (a lot of little people). I think they are pretty wonderful, but they are not always up for a photo shoot, (crazy, right?) But, I’ve managed to get some pretty sweet photos regardless. I get asked a lot, how I get my kids to sit still, smile, not throw a fit, and take good photos . . .
Here are my best tips:
Choose your time wisely. It seems like this could go unsaid, but it is potentially the most important tip of them all. If it’s nap time, don’t take photos. If they are cranky, plan another day. The more you push for them to smile, the more they will resist.
Food. Sometimes, we forget kids are people too. I know i’m not the only one that gets hangry (insert emoji of hangry Jersey Italian girl here) it’s not pretty. Make sure your kids have a full belly before you tackle photos
Pre-plan. Outfits, location, time. Just have an idea, so when you have your window of happy kids, you take it.
You stress, they stress. For real. They can feel it. If you are running around screaming, chances are your photos will show them screaming too.
Lower expectations. Chances are you just want a nice photo of your kids dressed up for a holiday, or a quick one of them on their way to their first day of school. It doesn’t have to be perfect or Pinterest worthy. (Hire someone for those photos 😉 we get to stress for you then)
Bribery. No judgement. Grab some candy. Whatever non-Doritos non messy snack they like. (My go-to’s are Pez, Vanilla Wafers, smarties, and the promise of ice cream after). It works, why fight it?
Little ones first. Youngest kids first & group photos with littles in them. Older kids can usually hold out longer (or understand bribery).
Let them play. The best photos of my kids? Them being themselves with little to no prompting. Examples: letting my son act like a superhero and jump off a rock. Letting my girls spin and dance like a ballerina. Telling them to get down on the grass and have tickles fights, announcing a game of tag. Letting them grab their favorite doll or toy to join in the fun. Funny faces, serious faces, goofy poses. Those are my absolute favorites. You might be surprised that they are some of yours too
Here are some of my faves from a recent session with all my kiddos and my two sweet nieces! Enjoy