You have planned for weeks, found the perfect outfit, the perfect location, the perfect photographer.
You tell your spouse and kids how important these photos are for you, so you talk and threaten and
bribe. You arrive at your session and your kids are acting out, not posing well, running wild and crazy.
You think the session is ruined and you go home worrying and stressed that you won’t have any great
photos to hang on your walls. What went wrong?!
Or, you are trying to take the perfect picture of your kids posing but they just won’t cooperate. You get
so frustrated and think to yourself, I just want one good picture!
I sat down with an expert on kids, my 5-year-old son. Who can answer questions about kids better than
a kid?! Here is what he had to say about kids and photo sessions.
T: Why don’t kids like to get their picture taken?
L: They want to play and have fun
T: How do you think we can get kids to take pictures?
L: Let them play and don’t yell at them for doing it wrong. I like to have my picture taken because you
don’t yell at me.
T: I like to take pictures of kids playing, do you think kids will be more excited about pictures if they
L: That’s what I said…
T: What about clothing?
L: We like to look good too. I have my own style, we all have our own style. Let kids dress themselves
and we will want our pictures taken.
T: What if we wanted you kids to wear an outfit that we like and will match everyone else?
L: Um. Maybe ask them nicely?
T: What do you think I should do if a kid is acting out and being uncooperative at a session? Do you
know what that means? Uncooperative?
L: Yes, (long pause) it means not doing what you want. If a kid is being bad its because they are bored or
not happy. No kid wants to be bad. We want you to be happy with us but its hard to listen when we get
T: Ok, so how should I get a kid to act better?
L: Let them play
As you can see, he had some great answers! One of my favorite things to do during family sessions are
to let kids play and be themselves and capture that. Kids do get bored easily and nobody likes to have
their picture taken. Nobody likes to be told what to do all the time. We adults need to remember that
Kids are designed to be active and play. They learn through playing so that drive is there. As a
photographer, I find that letting them do their thing will create the best real moments. And that is what
we want to capture and preserve after all. Our kids grow up fast enough, let them play. When they are
teenagers and ‘too cool’ to play, you will have these moments and memories to look back on.
So even though they may not be posing or cooperating the way you’d like, capturing your child’s
personality is always the perfect picture.