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Family, Madison Thomson, Photo Tips

How to Get Your Kids to Cooperate for Photos

Last year’s, beginning of the pandemic, Easter celebration at home. Please enjoy my husband’s enormous beard, my pink quarantine hair, and happy kids before they realized it would be over a year before they got to go to in person school again.

Last year’s, beginning of the pandemic, Easter celebration at home. Please enjoy my husband’s enormous beard, my pink quarantine hair, and happy kids before they realized it would be over a year before they got to go to in person school again.

Easter is a big photography free for all. I don’t know about you guys but we like to do nice Easter outfit pictures, and then all the photos of the festivities – dying eggs, hunting for eggs, eating lots of sweet treats, and all the fun family time. With all that in mind, I thought this would be a great question to answer and share some of my tools and ideas about getting silly, hopped-up-on-sugar kids to cooperate for your pictures.

Step One: Lower your expectations

We’ve got to start with this because if you can manage step one then it’s pretty much smooth sailing. Have realistic expectations for yourself and your kids. Unless you have a unicorn child, kids are not always going to want to stop what they’re doing, pose for a photo, say cheese, and smile. Especially a nice natural smile. Change your expectation from “I need a perfect photo of my perfect child” to “I want to document this moment.” This mental shift can be helpful in capturing a happy and natural photo of your kids and it makes you happy because you’ve let go of an unrealistic expectation for yourself and your family.

Step Two: Be creative! Tell them to do something other than saying cheese

When I’m taking photos of my own kids or even during family sessions, instead of saying cheese I ask everyone to say boogers, farts, or butts. It’s a little unconventional but hear me out. I don’t encourage this behavior in my kids at home, but during photos, I will encourage it to get a picture of them laughing naturally. Even if they’re laughing and smiling simply because of potty words.

Another idea is to give them a job: running, jumping, twirling, giving a high five, smelling their sibling’s hair. We can all remember that standing still and smiling for hours on end can get boring really quickly. Embrace the fact that your kids are wiggly and use that in your photos. Capture their wiggliness but also control the outcome by giving their wiggliness direction.

Step Three: Tell them your expectation and then stick with it

Like I mentioned above, when candy, games, and eggs are calling their names, it’s going to be hard to convince them to stand still for family pictures. Be straightforward about your photo goals. ”If you can hold still and smile for 3 pictures, then I’ll be done.” Tell them exactly how many they need to hold still for and stick with your promise. Then they’ll know it won’t take forever and they’ll be more likely to cooperate with real happy smiles and fewer wiggles.

Easter is one of my favorite holidays to photograph because the grass is green, flowers are blooming and I love springtime Easter clothes. If you’re taking photos for Easter this year, make sure to use my FREE presets on your photos. Having good lighting and a beautiful preset can take great photos to the next level. If you use my preset, tag me on Instagram!

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