How to Help your Kids Cooperate during a Session

Why aren’t my kids cooperating during a photo shoot?

Have you ever left a photo shoot with your 2+ children thinking, man my kids didn’t cooperate today? Have you gone home frustrated because you wanted to get Sally’s 2 year pictures, Johnnys 5yr pictures, and heck, why not a Family picture too? Well, with some families, throwing them all into one hour just doesn’t work. Why?

5 Reasons WHY kids don’t cooperate.

  • Most kids only last 20-30 minutes. So when you are asking 2+ Children to cooperate for one FULL hour for several different pictures, it is really asking a lot.
  • Children get overwhelmed EASILY. Especially around siblings. When your child see’s his or her brother or sister playing with toys, or not having to sit and smile, they often get frustrated. They don’t feel its “fair” they have all work and no play, we as adults can understand that concept!
  • Indoor Photo Shoots do not work for some kids. It’s not a bad thing! A lot of kids just want to roam and explore. It is really hard to do that in a studio setting where your lights are in one spot. Try scheduling your photo shoot at a different time of the year where your photographer can roam with your child as they are exploring outdoors.
  • Kids can feel stress and tension. If you are stressed and anxious over their photo shoot before and during the photo shoot, they will know and will feel the same way too!
  • Don’t Practice Smiles! If your child tends to do a “cheesy” smile and you are really not ok with it, don’t practice smiles before hand. They tend to forget that smiling is about being happy, and they focus on the “process” behind it. Don’t be discouraged if your child ONLY has a cheesy smile, however. This is a milestone, just like crawling & walking.

5 Tips to help your session run more smoothly.

  • Keep your expectations on the lower end. Don’t expect your children to cooperate through an entire hour. Lowering your expectations will increase your mood, and also your child’s mood!
  • Schedule your children’s sessions SEPARATELY. A lot of parents want to “save time and money” by scheduling everything all at once. A Family Session is really only intended for a family. A Children Session is really only intended for a family. Give your child “their time to shine” by scheduling each session separate, I can guarantee you will get SO MUCH MORE for your money!
  • Don’t wait until two weeks before Christmas to schedule. (especially if you want Christmas Cards) Believe it or not, you aren’t the only family wanting to get in before the holidays! And, some kids really need that outdoor, natural light session where they are free to roam!
  • Relax, this goes back to #1. Keep your expectations on the low end. Expect less, and you will receive more!
  • Keep your child in a really good mood before and during your session. Make sure you have them fed, well rested and happy before they come. This also goes with during the session.  A lot of parents tend to get frustrated when their child may be showing signs of not cooperating. Practice patience! Allow your child to be happy for natural reasons, not just because their is a camera in front of their face!


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