Figuring out how-to manage a photoshoot with young children can certainly be a juggle, especially with a newborn. Between nap times and potential crankiness on the way, it can be hard to balance everyone all at once. Therefore, we have shared our best tips and tricks, on how-to manage a photoshoot with young children. We share our expert secrets that we use throughout our sessions, to keep everyone calm and having fun! We want your children to enjoy the photoshoot as much as you do. Due to this, we pull out all the stops to make sure that is the case.
Arrival at the studio.
On the day of your photo shoot, we recommend arriving 15 minutes early. This time will allow you to find a carpark and get out of the car, get comfortable and get settled in. You will enjoy delicious coffees or refreshing drinks on us, and wander around our gallery. This way, by the time we begin the session, they have already acclimatised to the space. This is an important part of young ones getting ready for photos and feeling at ease.
Spaces to feed or change your little ones are available in all of our studios, you are welcome to use these facilities at any time. We have built our facilities to be as parent-friendly as possible, so every family feels right at home.
Tip 1. Scheduling the shoot consciously around nap times.
We always make sure parents with younger children are booking in at a time where their children will be feeling their absolute best. This often means it has to be perfectly coordinated around nap times. We have shoot times to suit most families, so ask us about our availability, and we will do our best to ensure your child can be photographed well before they are starting to become fidgety, cranky or restless, and due for a nap.
Tip 2. Playing their favourite music.
Before your session, you will have a call with one of our friendly Verve Portrait stylists. During this call, you can let us know if your child has a favourite song or group they love listening to. (The Wiggles is a forever popular choice!) We love to play music in our studios, because it helps create a soothing and comfortable environment for our guests. If your child (or you the parents) have some favourite music they’d love to listen to during their session, simply let us know and we can play it in the background.
Tip 3. Bring snacks along.
Snacks are a great idea to bring along to the session, especially to keep kids happy whilst their parents or other siblings are taking their turn at being photographed! Preferably bring snacks and/or drinks that are sugar-free, (ideally no juices, soft drinks, etc) as children tend to get a ‘sugar buzz’ after these kinds of treats!
If you have brought snacks to the session, ideally have them hidden away so as to not be a distraction, and let your photographer know they are there, so they can let you know when the ideal time is to bring them out! The photographer will guide you as to when the best moment for snack time will be!
Tip 4. Encouraging siblings to interact with each other
Are your other children unsure about how to be in photos with your newborn? If this is the case, we gently encourage them to interact, perhaps by telling us what colour the babies eyes are. What’s their favourite food? Mashed peas? Sounds delicious! What do you love about being a big brother or sister? Can you count all of their toes? Having them sweetly and gently interact can be a great basis for cooperation. Once they begin to then play together organically, the best images can be taken!
“Having them sweetly and gently interact can be a great basis for cooperation”
Tip 5. Dress-ups.
Is your eldest child a bit hesitant when it comes to having their photo taken? Maybe they’re not sure what to expect? Creating an environment where they can have fun and feel seen is key. If they’re going through a stage where they love to dress-up, whether it be a pirate, dinosaur, fairy princess or doctor- letting them dress-up in costume can be a great way to allow their personality to shine. You will also get some beautiful images of them smiling, feeling happy because they are doing something they love! If they have a costume at home that they simply adore, bring it along! It will create some stunning photographs.
“Whether it be a pirate, dinosaur, fairy princess or doctor- letting them dress-up in costume can be a great way to allow their personality to shine”
Tip 6. Bring along their favourite toys.
How-to manage a photoshoot with young children often comes down to ensuring they are equipped for fun! When the newborn is being photographed, the older child or children may become a little restless waiting for their turn. In order to help keep them occupied during the shoot, bringing along their favourite toy or gadget to play with works a treat! The object could also become a great reminder when looking back on the images in years to come. A token or symbol of what they loved at that precious stage in their lives.
Tip 7. Using lots of props.
Mixing up the session with different props, furniture, coloured walls and fabrics brings life to every shoot. This also helps children feel part of the fun, as they move around in the space and make it their own. They want to cuddle with their parents on the couch? Absolutely go for it! Feel free to encourage your children to explore and experience the studio. When families are simply sharing a genuine moment together, this can often be how we capture some of the best family photos!
Tip 8. Letting them show-off a little (or a lot)
Maybe one of the children has a pink tutu she loves to twirl, and would love to show off how the skirt goes up nice and big when she spins around! Maybe your youngest toddler has a favourite funny joke they love to tell, to get everyone laughing along! Finding out what kids love, and what sparks joy in them is a great way to get them engaged. By the time they’ve finished telling their story about the big, huge fish they saw from that one time, we will have already snapped the perfect portrait!
Tip 9. Encouraging them to be themselves.
Children during a photoshoot may begin to feel uncomfortable if it’s a little stiff or too formal. At Verve, we love to bring out the family’s playful side, by encouraging to you all to simply be yourselves! Whether this means your children being allowed to sit on the floor, or play with their toy train whilst Mum has her photo taken. We encourage children to express themselves as much as they want to, allowing them to feel completely at ease and free in the studio space.
Tip 10. Not being too serious / playing games.
The photoshoot doesn’t have to be strict or boring, but the aim is to make sure every family leaves with smiles on their faces! Who says we can’t have fun and create memories at the same time! This can mean the photographer making the photos into a bit of a game. They might be goofing around, until they start to genuinely enjoy themselves, laughing and smiling. They might playfully use a funny voice, do peek-a-boo, or any number of funny tactics to get those giggles out!
“The aim is to make sure every family leaves with smiles on their faces!”
Not in the mood for cooperating.
Sometimes, despite our and your very best efforts to keep them warm, safe, happy and comfortable- children just simply aren’t in the mood to cooperate, and that’s more than ok. In these circumstances, we simply move on to a different part of the session, which often makes them want to join back in again! Not in the mood to be in the shot with Mum and Dad? No worries, you can play over here and I’ll photograph them on their own. Often, we find they come back wanting to join in again, as that’s where all the fun is happening!
“We love seeing our family’s after their portrait sessions want to hug their photographer on the way out!”
At the end of the day, we want to create an experience you can truly enjoy. We love seeing our family’s after their portrait sessions want to hug their photographer on the way out! The bond that is formed is genuine and so special. Our ultimate aim? To go above and beyond for each and every one of our Verve Portrait guests, including you! You can also find some more beautiful examples of our family shoots on our socials. Find us on Instagram @verveportraits and on Facebook.