5 Proven Tips to Have a Stress-Free Photoshoot with Children | SF Bay Area Family Photographer

Are you dreading your upcoming family photoshoot? Do you have visions of tantrums and uncontrollable children running amok? Fear not! With a little bit of preparation, you can have a stress-free photo session with your children. As a SF Bay Area Family Photographer, I have some excellent tips for making your photoshoot go smoothly.

SF Bay Area Family session

1. Style the photoshoot well in advance

First, be sure to take advantage of my style consultation to remove the stress from picking outfits yourself. As a SF Bay Area Family Photographer, I’ve helped hundreds of families select the perfect outfits for their sessions with me. I will help you choose clothing that compliments your family’s skin tones, matches your home decor and makes everyone look their best. I will also help you select a color palette that coordinates well and looks great in photos. Our goal is to select outfits that compliment each other but are not too matchy-matchy (picture blue jeans and white t-shirts for the entire family). I offer Style and Select services to all my clients to make this easier!

I like to start with mom’s outfit, this will be our focal point, and build the rest of the wardrobe around it. I can help you look through your closet, recommend websites to purchase a new dress or outfit, or you can even select a dress from my extensive client wardrobe. I love mixing and matching patterns with solids to add interest and depth to photos. I’m always happy to chat about wardrobe selections and make your pre-photoshoot planning less stressful!

2. Bring lots of snacks and arrive with well-rested children

Next, be sure to arrive well-rested and fed. My experience as a SF Bay Area Family Photographer and a mother of a young child is that a happy child is a cooperative child. Cranky children are not going to cooperate for photos, so do whatever you need to do to make sure they are well-rested on the day of the shoot.

Be sure to bring lots of snacks. A full stomach will help your child’s mood immensely. Try to avoid bringing snacks that will stain or that are messy. Some of my go-to mess-free snacks include crackers, string cheese, veggie straws, etc. I like to bring a few different options, as well as water and some type of treat for after the session (a lollipop always goes over well in my experience as a SF Bay Area Family Photographer!).

We will have plenty of time to take breaks as needed. My priority is for your child to have the best time possible and to be happy during our session together.

Family of three in Diablo Rock city

3. Enjoy the session like it’s a family date night

Relax and have fun! If you’re tense, your children will pick up on that and it will show in the photos. My advice as a SF Bay Area Family Photographer is to enjoy this time with your family and let me capture some beautiful memories for you.

I will be there to guide you through the entire process, from beginning to end. My goal is for your family to walk away from our session feeling happy and excited about your beautiful new photos.

I’ve learned over my many years as a SF Bay Area Family Photographer – bribery works wonders with children. Have a few small toys or treats on hand to bribe your child with if necessary. I promise it will be worth it when you get that perfect shot! If you prefer we don’t use bribery, I’m all for that!  At your consultation, I’ll make sure to ask you about this specifically to make sure i’m not overstepping!

Lastly, remember that children are unpredictable! They may cry, they may run away, they may not cooperate at all! And that’s okay! Just go with the flow and try to roll with whatever punches come your way. The most important thing is to have fun and capture your beautiful family in this moment in time. Together, we will create some beautiful memories that you will treasure for a lifetime.

Bay Area family in east bay

4. Choose a safe location where your high-energy toddler can run around freely

Choosing a safe location for young children is vital when planning a family session. I recommend wide-open spaces where your high-energy toddler can run around freely. It’s best to avoid places with potentially dangerous elements such as mountains or steep beach cliffs. The San Francisco Bay Area has no shortage of breathtaking locations and as a SF Bay Area Family Photographer I am familiar with many of them. Rest assured, together we will choose the perfect location for your family.

San Francisco can get chilly, even in the summer, so layered clothing is always a good idea. I suggest bringing a light jacket or sweater for everyone, even if it’s not cold when you leave the house. During my many years of working in the city as a San Francisco Bay Area Family Photographer, I’ve learned that San Francisco is notorious for its microclimates and you never know when the fog will roll in.

If you have a baby under six months old, I recommend doing the session at your home. This way we can take advantage of all the cute newborn props you have and your baby will be more comfortable in his or her own environment. Plus, who doesn’t love snuggling with a sleepy baby?

Bay Area family rolling hills photoshoot

5. Choose an experienced SF Bay Area Family Photographer who works with kids frequently

Selecting an experienced SF Bay Area Family Photographer will make a world of difference for your photoshoot with young children. As a SF Bay Area Family Photographer with over 5 years of experience and a mother of a young child, I have tricks up my sleeve to help your kids warm up to the camera and feel comfortable.

I will ask you about your child’s specific interests prior to our session to make it easier to connect with them. I will also bring along some fun props to help your child feel comfortable and engaged. I love to use prompts with children to capture natural and organic moments. I will never force your children into stiff poses or ask them to say “cheese”. Instead, I let the kids play and interact while I document those sweet, genuine interactions.

If you want beautiful photos of your children that show off their personalities, then look no further. As a SF Bay Area Family Photographer who specializes in photographing children, I’m ready to capture those precious moments for your family!

So there you have it! My top tips for having a stress-free photoshoot with your children. Be sure to contact me to book your SF Bay Area Family Photographer today! I can’t wait to work with you and capture some beautiful memories of your family.