5 ways to get your kids to "behave" at photo sessions

A lot of parents I meet have concerns about how their kids will behave during family photo sessions. But I sometimes wonder whether it's more how the parents will react to their kids during the session. Learn how to embrace the ups and downs of family photo sessions to get both the “everyone looking at the camera” photo and all the beautiful and sometimes messy in-between moments.

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Why you CAN book a family photo session without your partner

How many photos do you have of your kids?
How many of those are you in?

Many parents, specifically those that identify as mom's aren't in photos with their kids. And so many of those moms ask me how to convince their partner to do photos.

Here are my answers, which I'll dive into more detail below.

  1. Remind them it's not about them anymore. It's about your kids

  2. Rip the bandaid by booking a mini photo session with your favourite photographer

  3. Book a session without them. I know, scandalous right!?

As parents, our roles and priorities change the instant our first one is born. And that includes how we choose to document our family's story. If your partner is uncomfortable in front of the camera, I get it.  Mine is. But he understands it's no longer about him. It's about our son having photos of us as a family. For our son to have when he's older. When we are gone and he can remember just how much we loved him.

I often tell mom's to remind their partners this which helps to put things into perspective.

How do you introduce them to a new photographer?
With a mini family photo session!

Many photographers offer these and they are a great way to "rip the bandaid" and get some nice photos out of it. Conveniently, I’m hosting a day of mini sessions on June 22! Check it out here.

BUT, what if you had a photo session just for you?

What if you treated yourself to a session with you and your kids. No stress of your partner not wanting to be there. No stress of making sure they "looked good" or enjoyed themselves.

Just you and your kids enjoying the moment.

What if? What would happen?

YOU WOULD BE IN THE PHOTOS! And the earth would continue to spin.

Credit:  Scarlet O'Neill

And you would have some lovely photos that may even be the catalyst for your partner to say yes next time.

I love getting photos done now. I didn't always. But now I have my son to take the limelight away from me which makes it easier. As I mentioned earlier, my partner does not like doing photo session as much as I do.

How do we make it work? We land on a minimum number of sessions per year as a family (usually 1) and then all other sessions are for me, chosen by me and paid for by me.

Book the session for your kids. Or for you. Or for whatever reason your flipping want.

And hopefully you can sit down with your partner and come to an agreement of how often you should have family photos done AS A FAMILY. Ideally no longer than 2 years apart for the love of memories people!!!


These three guys cracked me up at their family photo session. I'm not sure their parents were feeling the same way, but they have to manage life with three highly energetic boys. I'm just there for an afternoon photo session!

One thing I love about photographing families is being able to capture each kid's unique personality. It's so rewarding when a parent sees the images and let's me know I've done just that! Especially when the personalities are so unique.

One of my goals for each family photo session is to sneak in at least one portrait of each child. My approach to photography is centered around capturing candid and authentic moments, and these "secret" portraits can still be that. It's also a nice surprise for mom and dad when they get the gallery of images.

I hope you enjoy this gallery and seeing the boys personalities shine through.