Updated: Oct 29, 2021
Fairfield Lakes Park, Lafayette Indiana
How do you do a family session with littles who have no interest in being in front of the camera? Make it a game! Rock admiring, skipping, and throwing was the theme of this family session last week with little Easton having a great time exploring Fairfield Lakes Park. This little family is so near and dear to me, and I'm so thankful we had an opportunity to document this season in their life.
When they arrived for their session, Easton was not at all into taking photos. In fact, he was frowning constantly and not responding to myself or his parents assuring him it would be fun and they would be right there the whole time. He wasn't believing any of it. So how do we have a great family session when the littles don't want to participate? Here are my top tips on family photos with littles!
As a photographer, I always introduce myself before the session directly to the littles. Letting them know who you are, what you're going to be doing (taking photos), and that you're going to play with them is huge to start off. They will begin to trust you faster if you start out this way.
Start with where they are. If the littles are clinging to mom, start with some tight family photos so they can hold onto mom as long as they want. If they come super energetic, start off with some natural playing around with mom and dad or running photos. This will tire them out and they'll be calmer in the future when they need to sit and smile. Be willing to be flexible with this timing as well, as the little's moods can change quickly.
Find something in nature to focus on. For us, it was rock admiring and skipping in the lake. Easton would take a few photos with us and his reward would be to throw rocks in the lake. You could find a tree stump to stand on, leaves to hold, flowers to pick, etc. This gives the photographer great artistic shots of kids just being kids, and keeps them occupied with incentives to smile and participate.
If they're fussy, take a break! No need to stress over this part. Sometimes kids just need a break and that's ok. If you schedule a 60-90 minute session, you will have plenty of time to capture everything you need and still give yourself some breathing room.
Bring a favorite toy or snack just in case. This can help calm, soothe, and distract littles just enough to then get some fantastic photos.
Do something together that you do all the time in family photos. For us, this was Easton running up to Dad and Dad hoisting him up in the air multiple times. It made him smile and we got fantastic photos of all three of them playing together.
I hope these tips are helpful in your next photo session with littles! Just remember to breathe, relax, and know that your photos represent where you and your family are at in THIS season. Sometimes this season means fussy babies and frowny faces and THAT'S OK. You'll look back and still love the photos years down the road and will have wonderful stories to share because of them.
Ridge family, THANK YOU for trusting me with these photos of your little family! It was great hanging out and getting gorgeous photos in the process! I pray you enjoy these for years to come!