Uh Oh. It’s family picture time! You know you’ll cherish these pictures forever and frame them up on the gallery wall. But the stress of picking out outfits and having the kids go crazy during the photo shoot is giving you heart palpitations. Does this sound familiar? I’ve so been there.
I finally incorporated a few tricks of the trade to help the little ones cooperate during the photo shoot with as few tears as possible. Here are some of my favorite tips to help you get through it.
Take Your Most Important Pictures First
This might sound like common sense, but make sure the photographer gets the shots you want the most first. Young children are bound to get bored and often times take their best photos right from the start.
TRY To Eliminate Common Distractions
Make sure they’ve eaten beforehand. Parents.com says that “to combat hunger or fatigue, give your child a snack before she starts … any structured task.” That is true advice. We’ve all seen it with our kids. They will do so much better with a snack before!
Also, be sure to have them go to bed on time the night before. A good night sleep can go a long way in improving their mood and attention span.
Dollar Tree Gifts
One of my favorite tricks is buying cheap dollar items from Dollar Tree or Target and putting them in a gift bag. Think stocking stuffer. I show it to the kids right before and tell them they can have a present if they are good! My kids love it.
If They’re Sweet, They Get a Sweet
Naturally, your toddler will throw tantrums. Even my older kids complain.
I’m so not opposed to bribing my kids with candy. My little guy loves suckers. You better believe I’ll have a few on hand for some smiles and bribing if I need to. You may also want to bring water and easy snacks that aren’t messy. The last thing you want is dirty clothes in the middle of the shoot.
Keep it Short
Don’t push it too long. The little ones will have a breaking point and will shut down after a little while. Four and five-year-olds get fidgety after any activity that exceeds 10-15 minutes while a 3-year-old may do so after only 8 minutes.
As parents, let the photographer do the work. You’re paying, so let the photographer work with the kids to get them to smile, pose, or sit a certain way. The kids will respond to them better and take direction better from them than from mom or dad.
Make it Fun for Them
Be positive about it. They will feed off your energy. Let them be kids and have the photographer get some fun action shots of them playing, running, or laughing in the leaves or wherever you go. Don’t stress; research shows that parental stress is contagious. If you’re stressed out, start thinking positively.
Sending you positive vibes for your next digital camera photo shoot. Moms know putting these moments together can be challenging and stressful with the outfits, location, photographer, and kids’ unpredictable behavior. But with all that said, those timeless pictures of your little ones and family together are absolute mommy treasures and so worth not waiting until they’re older. It’s worth all the stress. These tips and tricks might just help you on your next photo session and avoid some meltdowns along the way. Have fun and good luck! Don’t forget to say cheese!!