Preparing for your family photos and keep everyone happy | Cedar City Photographer

I feel like as a mom, one of the biggest things we stress about when headed to a photoshoot is how our kids are going to act. This is one of the most common topics that gets brought up during the planning phase.

Mama, I am here to tell you that you can take a big, deep breath because I am here to give you all of my tried and true tips to make things go smooth as butter. Ok, let's be real here, kids are kids, but these tips will sure help you so much when you are getting your family ready. They might also prevent tantrums altogether.

Here are some of my best tips...

01. Feed them before you come.

I'm not talking a little snack if we are doing a sunset session. Feed them a substantial snack that you know will hold them for at least an hour. During summer, feed them dinner before you come. This is especially true for younger kids because if they're anything like mine, they eat every 20 minutes!

Don't bribe them with a good dinner after... opt for ice cream or dessert instead. Bringing a hangry kid... or teen is never a good idea! ha

02. Don't make them pose.

Kids don't love sitting still and posing + that doesn't capture their personality and it stresses us out because we feel like they aren't "being good." They are kids, they have energy + amazing personalities to capture. Don't worry about them acting a certain way or tell them to "be good." We will let them be them and all will be well.

Plan on dancing around and playing when I'm in charge. I aim to capture your child's personality, relationships between your family, little moments, but not a perfectly posed image. We will try to get a couple posed images for Grandma, but it is never a guarantee!

03. Let them decide what they want to wear.

Decide your colors, purchase a few things to fill in the gaps, and take inventory of what you have. Put together a few outfits and give your kids a few outfit options that you approve of, but let them have the final say.

I know how hard it is to feel like you are giving up all control because outfits do play a huge part in how your final images look, but we also want to show up with happy kids right?

If we give them the opportunity to choose their final outfit, they feel more in control even thought it is something that you want them to wear ;) You'll have no fits when it's time to get ready because they are excited to wear what they picked out! That's a win in my book!

04. Relax.

Your kids feed off of your emotions and I know you stress about getting everyone looking good, dressed, and making sure you arrive on time, but take a few deep breaths in the car and just relax.

Know that when you arrive at my studio I will take care of everything for you. I guide + direct you and keep the kids as happy as possible. If you stress the entire drive over asking your kids to be good or trying to bribe them, I can promise you it won't work. So breathe and I've got it covered!

05. Make sure Dad is on board.

I totally get that the guys aren't always super excited to step in front of the camera, but ask them kindly to have a good attitude. Most of the time it is us mamas that are booking the session, but ask your hubs to help get the kids excited too.

I have always been so grateful for my husband and his willingness to go with the glow when I get a wild hair and get family photos twice in one year! ha That being said, I have seen firsthand what happens during a shoot when Dad is not happy about it.

Dad is grumpy, mom is mad at dad + the kids have horrible attitudes.... especially the teens. This has only happened to me twice that I can remember and it makes the entire session a little uncomfortable at first, but a lot of the time dad comes up to me and says, "That was actually fun!"