Five Tips to Prepare Your Pre-school Children for Family Photos

Preschool children are a pretty savvy bunch, they know their likes & dislikes fairly early on in life, and so do we as parents!  Some are happy to go with the flow, others like to know exactly when something is about to happen, and be well prepared. This age group of children are the ones who need the most preparation prior to a photo session, and need to feel secure with their parents.  In saying that though, don’t over prep them, there’s a fine line!  Here’s a few tips to keep in mind …

1.   What to wear – a three or four year old child often knows what their favourite items of clothing are.  These items may not be on your list of favs so I’d suggest selecting a couple of outfits that would look lovely on her, giving her the independence to select for herself.  Keep the choice limited & remind her that Mummy & Daddy need to select colours from her outfit, or that will tone in.  May be have a few items of clothing to show her so she understands that you all need to look like a cohesive family, the photos will look pretty on the wall.  Prior to talking with your preschooler, think about the colour palette you wish to select so you select appropriate choices.  This helps your child get onboard with the photo session.  Also, don’t be afraid to have a few outfits on hand that you can change into.  For more ideas, check out my what to wear article.

2.  Sleep –  your preschooler needs to be well rested on the day of your photo session especially if you are having an evening golden hour photo session (this always takes place close to sunset).  If your preschooler goes to daycare or kindergarten, make sure they have a quiet period prior to the photo session.  If your preschooler is tired and stressed, this will filter through to the rest of the family even before the photo session begins

3.  Food – oh yes, we don’t want hangry children!!!!  Always bring a healthy snack that won’t spill on clothing eg sandwich, fruit etc.  A drink of water for the hot evenings is a must too.  I suggest water as it won’t stain if there are spills.

4.  Help your preschooler feel secure – a photo session is daunting for the best of us so imagine how your wee one may feel with a person they may have had limited contact with pointing a camera at them.  Family photographer’s do their best to help their little people feel at ease.  Sometimes the camera may not be used until your wee fella feels relaxed, other times the photographer will shoot from a distance.  Feel free to cuddle and play with your child at this time, or simply take them for a walk until they feel comfortable.   Let them know you are staying with them.  Even those children who are self confident can feel out of sorts once they are out of their comfort zone.  Give all children time, and before you know it, they are relaxed and happy to be photographed.

5.  Bribery –  I think every family uses this technique!  It works a treat, and to be honest, your little one has worked hard to have beautiful photographs taken so go for it!  It is very important to reward after the photo session though!

Hopefully these tips have helped you out with ideas for your next photo session!  Preschool children are always fun to photograph, they can display so many emotions within a short space of time which makes them such beautifully emotive subjects.  Remember, have fun in your photo session.  Your photographer will help guide you if you arrive feeling a little stressed!

If you ‘d like me to photograph you and your family please email me at the below link! (caroline@twodragons.co.nz)