5 Tips for a Successful Photoshoot with Kids

December 4, 2016


I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Thank you so much for visiting me on our Holiday Home Tour. I hope you received some inspiration from all of the bloggers’ creativity and style. If you feel overwhelmed but still want to decorate, I recommending starting with something small. Add some holly berries or greenery in a little mason jar and place it on the table. Decorating doesn’t have to be fancy, stressful or costly. 

Today, I’m sharing family photos from our recent photo shoot along with some tips on how to get through the session somewhat pleasantly with children. Every year, I look forward to taking our family photos in the Fall. I love having these photos developed to document the growth of our kids. It’s bittersweet comparing how much they’ve changed in just one year. Here are some photos from the last few years. 




We’re super blessed because one of our closest married couple friends, Unchong and Craig Obrist have a photography business. I will brag about them for a bit because I’m so proud of how they have grown their business from what was just a passion into a successful career. Craig gets busier with each new year but they are so gracious to always somehow fit us into their schedule for some shots of our family. I am so thankful! Thank you, Craig and Unchong! All photos on this post were taken by Craig Obrist. 

Unchong and Craig share some great tips on their blog on what to wear as a family for family sessions so I won’t repeat the awesome information they’ve shared. However, I do want to share some of my personal tips on how to have a successful session with children. 


Tip 1

Choose the time of day when your kids are their best. If your kids tend to have a witching hour like mine did in the late afternoon, try avoiding taking photos during that time. Choose early morning instead and do it before nap time approaches. There’s nothing worse than trying to take photos when your kids are tired and fussy. The best time to take photos outside are usually early in the morning and in the late afternoon when the sun isn’t so strong. 


Tip 2

Have extra clothes on hand. It’s a good idea to bring extra outfits for everyone because accidents can happen. One time, we took photos when my son was a toddler and he got very wet playing with the water fountain. Thankfully, I had extra clothes for him and he needed a wardrobe change before our shoot was over. Also, make sure to check the weather and dress appropriately. You don’t want to be too hot or too cold. I love layering clothes for our Fall photo session but this year, it was hotter than we anticipated. My oldest Jules, had to take off her vest and she didn’t need leggings. 


Tip 3

Keep snacks and treats on hand!! Do not expect to have hungry children cooperate and smile. Make sure they are fed. Honestly, the same goes for adults. Don’t be hangry! Even though my kids are older, I still treat them with a lollipop at the end. Toddlers, especially, need more treats during all the photo taking and this is one of those situations where you shouldn’t feel too guilty about enticing them with yummy sweets. You will be so glad you brought them! 


Tip 4

Plan ahead for the length of shoot and location. Most sessions last an hour but some photographers may want to do more or less. Craig usually schedules an hour but I like to keep it right at 30 minutes or less. He’s so great at directing and positioning our family shots so thankfully, I don’t have to plan too much. It’s still a great idea to have an idea of some shots you want to make sure to capture. Ie: just the kids, just the two of you, throwing up leaves, holding hands and walking, etc. You get the point. Figure out the location and what type of pictures you want to achieve in that space. Try to get the photos of your kids out of the way before you take photos of just the two of you. 



Tip 5

Relax and have fun! Resist the urge to scream at your kids and try to enjoy the shoot. Instead of worrying about the perfect shot, allow the photographer to catch the realness of your family. Sometimes, crying photos make the best ones! Last year, my son decided he HAD to make crazy faces for every….single…photo. I got annoyed at one point because he wouldn’t stop but I ended up loving those shots so much. One of them ended up on our Christmas card. Every time I see them, I crack up because they are hilarious! 









I told you. He did it on every single one. But I bet it made you laugh right? I love them and am so glad Craig captured these photos. 

If you’re planning on taking some family photos, I hope these tips are helpful!


Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Corinthians 16:14

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