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Portrait Tips for Sessions with Little Kids

Do you want genuine, fun, candid, happy portraits of your kids but don’t know where to start? Read below for clothing tips, what to avoid, what to bring, and how to prepare for a successful portrait session with little kids.

1. Clothing Tips for Little Ones

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Be sure the clothing fits your little well, if it is too big it will look too big in the portraits. For girls in skirts or dresses be sure they are wearing a pair of coordinating shorts or bloomers to cover up undies and diapers. If your baby isn’t standing or walking yet chose an outfit that looks good when the baby is sitting up or being held. Onesies paired with pants or skirt are better than shirts and avoid constant re-tucking during the session. Use fashion tape for unruly collars, overall straps, and loose suspenders. It’s always a good idea to bring a backup outfit for the littlest family member–if you have a little you know why 🙂

2. Have fun, be silly, and be forgiving.

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Save your sanity by trying not to control the photo session. Sometimes the best photos come from kids just doing their own thing. As much as you’ll want to direct your children on where to stand and how to pose, it’s best to leave that to the photographer as they know what works best. Yelling and demanding children to look at the camera to smile will only stress your children out (not to mention the photographer—ha!) and usually results in forced smiles and unhappy kiddos. Allow the photographer to interact, play, and talk with your children. You can help the photographer by remaining relaxed, having fun, and being silly with your kids. 

3. Plan an activity that the kids enjoy doing.

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Several of the most successful portrait sessions have incorporated an activity that the kid loves to do. This gives them something to do with their hands and feet, engages the little ones, and brings an authentic smile to their face. Does your child love to read? Bring some books. Is their favorite dessert popcorn? A jumbo-sized theater tub of it would be so fun to throw around. Other ideas include: a favorite lovie, football, bubbles, piggy back rides, balloons, bike riding, kite flying, singing, picnics, the ideas are endless! Keep in mind the location of the shoot and clothing style and colors when choosing what to bring.

4. Bring Snacks & Drinks

Little kids sometimes need a break mid session to recharge. Having a favorite snack and clear drink handy can be very helpful if a meltdown is about to happen. Small snacks that don’t make crumbs are the best. Pieces of fruit, fruit snacks, trail mix, Smarties, or anything can be eaten quickly and won’t smear all over faces. Unless it’s the theme of the session you should avoid messy foods like chocolate, cookies, and especially Oreos. They make a big mess with crumbs everywhere–faces, fingers, outfits.

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Clover Street Studio, LLC

Serving Chicago & Beyond
executive head shots, high school senior portraits, lifestyle photographer, event & wedding photography

Clover Street Studio, LLC

serving Chicagoland & beyond