7 Tips to get kids to cooperate for a photo session!

It's that time of year!  Family photo time!

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Time to get the annual family photo session taken for your Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza, or whichever Holiday you and your family celebrate, so you can put it on your Holiday card and mail it off to family and friends in December.

Most parents love and dread having their family photo taken.  They love it because those photos create memories of how their kids (and themselves) look and acted that particular year.

But let's be real, it can be a tad stressful on Mom and Dad.  It’s tough coordination schedules, games. Then you have to find a photographer who’s work you love, book your the photo session, and gather outfits for the family.  Not to mention bribing, threatening, and begging the kids to behave, smile, and act nice during their photo session.

Sound familiar?

It's pretty common.  I can't tell you how many times I've had Moms and Dads stressing about how to get their kids to cooperate for their family photo.  And with four kids of my own, I completely understand and can relate!

So with the busy season of photography starting, I compiled a quick list to try and make everything go a bit more smoothly at your next family photo shoot.

  1. Make sure all your kids are well fed.  Yes, it sounds like their pets, but it works!  Kids who are hungry are generally not willing to cooperate.  Does the term hangry sounds familiar?  So make sure they eat a good meal or heavy snack before the photo session.

  2. Kids should be comfortable in the clothes they are wearing.  If that gorgeous shirt/dress/skirt itches and irritates your child's skin, it's going to show in the photos.  If your little girl doesn't normally wear a hair barrette or headband, but you want it on her for the photos, chances are she's going to constantly be playing with it or taking it off.  If you're kids are comfortable in their clothing, they'll be more relaxed and willing to cooperate.

  3. Bring snacks!  If you have young children, snacks are always a good motivator for them.  As a parent, I know I can feed my child a full meal and 30 minutes later they'll be hungry again.  It's normal.  So having non-messy snacks handy during a photo shoot works wonders!

  4. Talk to your kids before hand about your photo session.  Surprising your kids with a family photo session never goes over well.  Tell them what's going on and what to expect at the photo session.  If they know your expectations from the beginning, they're more likely to cooperate.

  5. Bribes and Rewards.  As a parent, I'm not above bribing my kids sometimes.  Is it ideal?  No.  Does it work? Heck yes!  Promising them ice cream or a special treat afterwards usually gets kids to cooperate better during a photo shoot.  My kids love Dum Dums (even the older ones), so I'll grab a handful and promise them one when we're done.

  6. Allow your children to smile naturally.  I can't tell you how many times I've had parents behind me tell their kids to say cheese.  Although their children smile, it's not natural.  It's my job as a photographer to photograph your kids natural expressions.  I promise I can do it even on a bad day.  Plus, they're natural smile is a lot more photogenic than a 'cheesy' smile.

  7. Just relax!  If you as a parent are tense, your children are going to feel it and be tense too.  Family photo sessions can be a lot of fun and interactive.  A good photographer will guide you naturally through your session and have fun as the same time.  Don't sweat it, I've got ya!

Although these suggestions are more of a guideline than hard rules, they'll help you and your family get through your Family Photo Session with ease.  Just enjoy the moment and allow us photographers to capture your families memories!

I still have a few spots available for Fall sessions. Email me at emilyingallsphotography@gmail.com or contact me here to book your photo session today!

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Photographing a genuine smile! | Round Rock Family Photographer

As a photographer, I dread hearing people say, "Say cheese!" while I'm trying to photograph families and children.  They are honestly trying to help, but in the end, I get one of these weird smiles like this (and this is my own kid!).

Definitely not a genuine smile! He was probably thinking if I just smile nice I'll get this over with. Alas, it didn't work and I ended up with a crazy smile.

Definitely not a genuine smile! He was probably thinking if I just smile nice I'll get this over with. Alas, it didn't work and I ended up with a crazy smile.

One of the best compliments I received from someone was when they told me, 'You just seem to capture the real person, someone's genuine being.  Not just a smile and nice picture.'  I about swooned when I heard it because that is exactly my goal!

I want to capture a person's character... their genuine happiness.  That's what I'm about.

I don't want to just hand someone pretty pictures with people smiling on them.  I want to hand them gorgeous, not just pretty, family photos with true emotion and personality.

Each one of use is unique.  Every child and person I photograph has their own personality.  Some kids are just serious.  Some kids are happy-go-lucky and have nothing but smiles.  It's finding out how to capture them uniquely that gives me great joy.

 

Here are a few quick tips I use to capture a genuine smile on children anyone can use!

 

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  1. Don't ever ask a person to say cheese.  Just don't.  They always look awkward.  (see photo above)
  2. Ask them to finish this sentence, "We all scream for _________!"  They'll scream ice cream and start giggling!
  3. Tell them not to smile in a very serious voice, then just keep repeating yourself.  9 times out of 10 they start smiling and giggling after about the 4th time I've told them not too.
  4. As them to jump, twirl, sing their favorite song!  Children love being active and showing off for people.

I won't sit here and tell you this works all the time, but most of the time it does!  Try it for yourself when you're out photographing your own family life!

A quick announcement!

Fall Mini-Sessions are open for booking in October and November 2018!  Fall Mini-Sessions include 15 minutes and 8 high resolution digital photos for $150.  Contact me to book yours today!  emilyingallsphotography@gmail.com or 512-853-0899

 

Emily Ingalls is a professional photographer residing in Round Rock, Texas.  She specializes in family and children's portraiture, lifestyle newborn sessions, and commercial lifestyle and publication.  Emily serves the Austin, Round Rock, Pflugerville, Georgetown and surrounding Central Texas area.

Family and Senior Photo Session | Round Rock, TX

School is almost out for the summer!  And honestly, it can't come fast enough.  As a mom, I'm done making lunches, making sure homework gets done, waking children up in the morning, etc.  I'm ready for a slightly less hectic schedule.

Check with me in the middle of June and I'll probably be ready to send the kids back! :)

I had the pleasure of photographing this family, who happens to have a senior at Round Rock High School this year.  They were a fun family to photograph.  The boys were all making each other laugh.  And Mom and Dad had no problem acting a little silly.  All-in-all, it was one of those photography sessions I won't forget any time soon.

Smash Cake In-home Lifestyle Photo Session | Round Rock, TX

This little man turned 1 year old!

This little man had a blast making a huge mess at his first birthday party surrounded by his grandparents, parents, and aunts.  I was able to photograph him before the cake capturing his 1 year old milestone photos.  After his 1 year milestone photos, I shot a few family photos.  Then the cake came out!

Little man had no idea what to do with it after first.  His Grandma and Aunts helped him out after he tried to put out the birthday candle with his fingers.  The cake ended up everywhere, but he had a lot of fun making a huge mess.  And I had a blast photographing his birthday cake smash!

Family Photo Session | Round Rock, TX

Growing up a Military brat has left me with a soft heart when it comes to Military Families and Veterans.  These people choose to serve our country and are truly selfless.  With both parent's being former Military and now Veterans, I loved being able to photograph their growing family for them.  Plus, they just recently moved to Round Rock, so it was fun to show them a little bit of Round Rock history.

If you are a Veteran or active duty Military, I'd love to be your photographer!  With my Dad serving 22 years in the Navy, it takes a community and I'd be happy to be a part of yours!