Tips for a photo session with young children

Choosing the right photographer for a photo session with young children

Not every photographer will be the right fit for your family. Ask yourself these questions.

  • Do I like their style? Choose a photographer that matches your vision for everything from clothing colors to session locations to what type of light they use. If you prefer light colors choose a photographer whose portfolio reflects that. I have turned away many wonderful families because my style will not provide them with results they’ll love.
  • Do their reviews mention if they’re good with young children? This is very important. Photographers are good at different things. I love babies and young children and everything about interacting with them. Busy toddlers don’t phase me. I enjoy making weird noises and faces to get their attention. I will happily wipe their face on my shirt.
  • Get recommendations from your friends who have young children who are like yours and have had a great experience.

During your photo session with young children

Just Keep Smiling during your photo session with busy toddlers

This is my number one tip for families with small children during a photo session. I’ve seen countless beautiful moments ruined by un-happy looking parents. If they’re screaming just keep smiling. If they’re running away just keep smiling. Keep in mind it takes a fraction of a second for my camera to capture a beautiful moment so embrace them all.

Go with the flow and embrace every moment

Go with the flow and look for every opportunity to connect with them. Have they run off to pick a flower. Go with them and keep smiling. Do they want to snuggle. Embrace it and keep smiling. While they’re in your arms give out plenty of kisses. Twirl them. Tickle them. Dance with them.

My best sessions often feel like the most chaotic but, I promise you’ll go home with beautiful memories full of love, joy, fun and sometimes tears. Because one day you’ll want to remember those, too.

Before your photo session with young children

Prepare well

Preparation is key to starting your session off with a happy child.

  • Choose your clothing well in advance making sure your children are comfortable in what they’re wearing.
  • Choose a time when your children are happiest. This is typically in the early morning hours. I realize this may mean you have to get up before you would like to but it’s only 1 morning. Your results will be worth it.
  • Make sure they are well rested. Don’t schedule a photo session on an already busy day or skip naps when they normally take one.
  • Feed them well before your session. The last thing you want is a hangry toddler.
  • Bribe only if you know it works with your child. Bribes don’t work with all children. Sometimes they make thing worse.

View more family photography session examples with a young child here.

This session took place at Southside Baptist Church in downtown Birmingham, AL

Laura Cardan Photography is based out of Birmingham, Alabama. To learn more about family photography session with me click here.