6 Brilliant Tips For Getting Your Kids To Cooperate For Family Photos

Whether you’re taking snapshots in your own front yard or you’ve rounded up your kids to go to a professional photographer’s studio, one thing is sure: If your child is uncooperative, it will be tough to take good photos. While you or a photographer might be able to get away with one or two good shots, if you really want pictures that bring out your child’s vibrant personality, you need to get them to cooperate. Below are six amazing tips that will help you do exactly that!

But first, I know how frustrated parents can get when that perfect smile in their kids’ photos seems to always elude them. I have been photographing families with kids of all ages for over two decades. And in that time, I have been able to see what works the best when taking photos and what leaves parents and the kids more upset. 

That’s why we just released a fantastic resource for parents who love taking pictures of their kids. Picture Perfect Smiles—an eBook packed with 20 proven strategies for capturing your child’s genuine expressions. This is all you need to see an immediate change. Learn more here

Now let’s look into how to get your kid(s) to cooperate for family photos.

1. Let your child make a few choices.

When children feel like they are part of the decision-making process, they will be more inclined to cooperate. Make sure you allow your child to make a few (guided) choices along the way: For example, ask them,” Would you rather stand here or there? Do you want to wear this shirt or that one?” Some of the best pictures will be the ones where she’s in charge and doing her own thing, without being forced.

2. Choose a time when they are well-rested

This one is so obvious, but you might be surprised how many parents overlook it. For example, if your child regularly takes a nap at 3 pm and you schedule a photo session at that time, that’s a recipe for disaster. It’s best to choose a time when you know your child is feeling fresh and energetic.

3. Take a Break

If your child is upset about something or just downright not cooperating, then take a break. Also, kids are very intuitive and can tell when their parents are stressed or upset. So if you notice you are starting to get a little agitated that the pictures are not turning out the way you want, take a step back and relax a little. You can resume when everyone has cooled down and are no longer easily irritable.

4. Give them somewhere to sit

For little ones, the first challenge can be getting them to sit down. If you don’t want to find yourself running around like a crazy person snapping photos while begging your child to just stop and look, find him somewhere to sit. This can be a stool, rocking horse, stump, bench, or wherever he thinks it would be fun to sit – it’s an extra bonus if you can get him off the ground so he’s not able to run off…as quickly.

5. Give them something to hold

Sometimes all you need to do to get your children cooperating is to get their minds focused on something else. And a great way to do this is to give them something to hold. This can be a toy or a fresh flower you’ve picked in your yard. Having this extra item in the shot is a small price to pay to keep her occupied and more focused than if she didn’t have anything in her hands.

6. Share how important these pictures are to you

It might seem like you are always nagging your kids about something, but children really do want to make you happy. With this in mind, one of the most effective things you can do to get your kids to cooperate when you want to take photos is sharing with them what these photos mean to you. For example, tell them how much you love having pictures of them to look at or how the images will be perfect for a family yearbook to send to grandma and grandpa. This should help to get them fully on board.

Final Thoughts

Do you have any tips or suggestions for how you get your children to cooperate for family pictures? We’d love to hear them! Just drop us a line in the comment section. If you want more family photography and parenting related content, you can check out some of our other posts here.

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