D&S Photo

Capturing Memories: A Guide to Your Next Children's Photo Session - What to Expect and How to Prepare

Capturing Memories: A Guide to Your Next Children's Photo Session - What to Expect and How to Prepare

By: Samantha Hamilton
February 28, 2023

Booking a professional photo shoot with children can be stressful as they can be unpredictable and likely won’t want to sit still during the session. There are a few things that photographers, and parents, can do to make the session more enjoyable for everyone.

Posed isn't always best...

Some of the best shots captured will be candid’s of your child just being themselves. For us, a pose is more of a starting point. Letting the individual show their personality and take it wherever feels the most natural. This always produces incredible images and makes every session unique. 


Don’t get caught up in the pose and perfect execution, get caught up in the moments.

Newborn & Big Sister

Ask questions!

Keeping them engaged is going to keep their focus on the camera.


We’ll often ask about their favorite things to capture their attention. Arriving at a session with these things in mind can truly engage them in front of the camera. Whether it’s an action figure they’ve been attached to, a movie they just saw and can’t stop talking about, or even their favorite candy. The smallest thing can completely change how cooperative they are. 


Be sure to ask your photographer questions as well! See what you can prepare leading up to a session, or ask questions throughout on how to be helpful. Open communication and a willingness to help can make a world of difference when it comes to the final images. 

A little silliness goes a long way!

Sharing jokes and laughing keeps kids engaged without risking tears.


Being cheery, excited, and downright funny can create a wildfire of candid smiles throughout your session. Yeah, posing and getting a posed smile can be great for a frame or holiday card, but a genuine and meaningful smile tells a story by comparison.


It often wards off bad moods too, which can have an impact on photos. No one wants puffy eyes, a stuffy nose, and a red face in most cases during a regular photoshoot. It can be very tough to avoid in longer sessions, but it’s worth every bit of effort!

Mom and Son

Knowing the time limit.

Kids can’t sit still for long periods of time normally, so we don’t expect them to stay still for an hour-long session or more. It’s best not to push their limits. The session may not have to end there, but being aware of their limits can help get as much as possible out of the session.


With that being said, trying to optimize your child’s schedule as best you can to time their active window with the session. Being grumpy as a result of being hungry or overdue for a nap can make things far more challenging. Having them eat or nap in the car on the way there can be helpful as well. 


The main goal: surviving the session with as much time as your child will allow. 

They don't always need to smile!

Asking a child to smile for a picture often results in an unnatural pose. It’s best to talk about something they like to bring out a natural smile or reaction rather than forced poses. Chances are if they’re uncomfortable, that will resonate within the final image. 


Natural emotion and actions can make for the best photos!

Always know that when booking a professional photo shoot with your children, the photographer is prepared to snap a lot of pictures, as this will provide the most opportunity for successful results.


It’s normal to be worried about how your children will act during a session – just know that your photographer has tricks up their sleeve to make the process easier!