family photos with little kids

What Your Kids Are Really Like At A Photo Shoot

While we would all love our kids to be on their best behaviour at all times, this is not a reasonable or realistic expectation. Frankly, if they were, life would way too easy and a lot more boring. Don’t you think? That’s why I am so comfortable doing family photos with little kids.

You might not know what to expect, but you’re coming to your session with the intention of capturing your little ones for who they are. My goal is to help my clients do this with as little stress and embarrassment as possible. The goal of this article is to help you shed the crushing fear that high expectations might put on you. We’re going to take a closer look at the things that might go wrong. I hope you’ll see that, even though there may be tears, everyone will survive and the moments you capture will be well worth it. I hope that you’ll see that I won’t judge, and I don’t think you should either.


Often sessions with little kids start out with lots of crying. There may even be screaming, kicking, and complete defeat on the part of the parents. I have, in fact, waited patiently for a solid 10 minutes with an older sibling while his parents attempt to soothe his little sister. We chatted about school, his sister, and took photos of just him while we waited.

Starting things out with crying is so unbelievably stressful for parents who just want to catch some smiles. It’s embarrassing! You might even wonder what I think of you. Rest assured, I cry sometimes too–so I am in no position to judge a toddler. We just wait calmly. We remain patient. And we trust that the crying will subside and your child will adjust.


This past summer, I photographed Jacob and his family. What his parents didn’t expect was that Jacob was going to be as shy as can be. In fact, he didn’t look at the camera once until the very end of the session (see above). Kids hiding their faces can be quite stressful for parents. Jacob’s mother, for example, was worried through the whole session and afterward that his shyness had ruined the session. But it didn’t.

When his mother got the photos back, everyone was all smiles and the photos were filled with snuggles. As she put it, “It looks like we’re in a fairy tale!”

Don’t worry! I can work around kids trying to hide from my camera. Usually, I do this by having you snuggle them, play with them, and tickle them. Nothing strange or out of the ordinary which might stress your kids out more than they already are. Instead, you’ll do all the things that you normally do with your kiddos.

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If we are lucky, your kids’ natural personalities will shine through for your entire session. They’ll smile, they’ll be silly, and they’ll laugh. More often than not, though, this happens about halfway through our time together and only for a short period of time; when they’re over the initial shock of the change in their routine and they’ve adjusted to this new, scary human they’ve just met (me). Other times it happens intermittently throughout the session. All of these options are just fine by me.

No Longer Listening

At some point in most sessions, young ones get bored with listening to what we have to say. They also get tired of their shoes, their shirts, and me. And that’s OK! I’m prepared for that–this is the perfect time to go with the flow. This is the time when we follow them. Usually when we leave them up to their own devices, they transition to an activity that interests them. In Jack’s case, he started squatting, sitting, and slipping leaves between the cracks of a nearby bench. His face totally relaxed, and he got a focussed. This gave his parents a chance to hang out with him and have a beautiful, candid learning moment.

Jack also started running, which gave his dad quite the workout keeping up, but is exactly what he loves to do: run. So getting bored with Jack presented the perfect opportunity for him and his dad to do something together that is particularly special.

Totally Over It

The results might not be sweet. They might not be snuggly. But I choose to look at kids being totally over their photo session as the perfect opportunity to capture blackmail material for later.

Crying Again

Finally, a second round of crying is totally normal. Even a third. Especially with young kids. And we handle the these rounds very much the same as we would the first. We ride it out for some time and let it pass. I also understand that young children might get tired sooner than we may like. This is OK!

This is exactly why I like to pack as much action into the first half of your session and then transition to candids in the later half. This allows us to get a variety of photos, and also to wrap things up if your little one becomes too stressed to go on. Hey! I love a good nap, too. So believe me, I am on their side.

As you can see, there are many phases to family photos with little kids. There are some ups, and there are some downs. Those downs don’t need to be as stressful as scary make them out to be, though. We can those tense moments like you do every other day!

Family Photos With Little Kids

It can be stressful planning for family photos with little kids in tow. I know. I see it all the time. And this is exactly why families choose to work with me. Because they know that the temper tantrums don’t phase me. That I go with the flow and that I let kids be kids. This way, together, we capture photos of their little spirits and their true personalities.

Is this what you’re trying to accomplish? Photos that, 10 years from now, will remind you of the sweet little hooligans you love so much? Tap right here to contact me about family photos with your kids. I’ll help you create just that with a little guidance and a lot of patience–just like you.

Share This With A Parent

I bet you know a parent with little-to-no time on their hands. Between work and raising their young ones, it seems you haven’t seen them in years. And that is exactly why you can’t believe how quickly those little kids have grown into saucy characters. Use the buttons below to reach out to them and send this article along. I bet that parent could use some comfort and some celebration of the family they’re raising.

What Your Kids Are Really Like At A Photo Shoot