The prospect of photographing children often presents parents with nightmarish experiences. The typical photography incidents involving little ones looks something along these lines: one minute they look pretty comfortable and roaring to go, and the very next minute they turn into their most uncooperative selves. As photographers specialising in family portraits, we have personally known many parents who would go to any length to have their way around this problem. Thankfully, our professionals have many creative tricks up their photographic sleeves to make your kids feel right at home.

So, next time you take your kid to a family photo shoot, follow these 7 tips from our experts for capturing memories to treasure.

1)  All they need is some love

The best way to get kids in the right mood for photography is by allowing them to hold on to what they love. Kids tend to be in the most playful mood when they are in their fancy costumes. Likewise, kids thoroughly enjoy a good roleplay in their favourite costumes. If they are having a good time in their costumes, then it stands to reason that they might just love to have their photos taken in the same costumes. Be creative. Perhaps ask your kids to play out a roleplay during the photo session. This tactic will not only get kids to feel comfortable before the camera but let you document the quirks and foibles of the innocent age.

2) Let your kids loose for photography!

Kids always like to be in the thick of everything fun, be it running around the park or causing a ruckus with playmates. When kids are in the mood for fun, there is no stopping them. Your job as parents is to tap into this fun side of your kids. As you let your kids enjoy themselves, you give us photographers the chance to capture candid moments. From the photographers’ standpoint, nothing compares to the joy of photographing the adventurous side of kids. These are precious moments that would make for beautiful photographs.

3) Taking a playful approach to photography

“Let them jump up and down on the couch or sing their favourite tune at the top their lungs”

Kids jumping in the air

It’s only natural for kids to be uncooperative when they are forced to perform things that they don’t really enjoy. The only way to shake off their sulkiness is if you inject some fun into the family portrait session. The first step to making things fun is to allow kids to be themselves. Instead of making them pose in a certain fashion, get them to feel carefree.

Photographing kids in such fun situations will make for great family portraits. For instance, something as playful as a random peekaboo could go a long way in cheering up your kid. When you let your kids be their wildest selves, you are giving photographers the perfect chance to capture glowing smiles with ease.

4) Let them play their favourite games

If you want kids to be cooperative during the family photoshoot, you should play things to their tune. When you find that your kid is starting to sulk at the things you want them to do, it’s time for you to play things their way. Just ask them what games they want to play. Trust us, kids always know. The big idea here is to take their mind off the fact that they are being photographed. So, indulge them in little games. For instance, ask them if they are interested in taking part in a race when you say “ready, steady, go”. Now this will work as a pleasant little distraction from the photography session. Now ask them similar game-related questions that could put them in high spirits.

5) Let them become their own photographer

Kids just love it when they realise they are in total control of the things they do. So, during a family photo session, it could well be a great idea to let kids be photographers. How can you let them be photographers? Well, you can achieve this by playing a little game with them. Get them to hold the camera (or bring along toy cameras specifically for this purpose) and push the click button, thus giving them an illusion of capturing the photographs of their parents and siblings. Next up, ask the kids for your turn to take their photograph. In most cases, you would find that kids simply want to play along, without ever knowing that they are being tricked.

Father and son portrait

6) Tickling your kids into happiness

As a parent, tickling your kids is something you never get tired of. So why not rely on it when you desperately want to see your kids laugh out loud. More importantly, a proper dose of tickling can bring out the most natural smiles in kids. At AJ Photographic, whenever we find kids pouting or feeling down, our photographers instantly get their parents to tickle them. If you can get kids to tickle each other, there will be greater laughter and happiness.

7) Keeping your kid engaged

‘You should develop a ‘yes’ attitude when you’re dealing with kids’

It’s highly recommended that you give kids something to do. When kids are immersed in some activity, they forget about everything around them. A few minutes in, and most kids even forget what they are doing in the studio. When kids have come away from a task they didn’t enjoy, the last thing you want is putting them through another ordeal. Before you set your kids up for a family portrait session make sure you have got something engaging in store for them. This is where our photographers think outside the box and take the most unconventional route to keep your kids engaged.

The primary goal is always to capture your kid in the middle of doing something they love to bits. Try giving kids presents that may arouse their curiosity. Giving them some painting exercises and playing their favourite songs in the background while they are at it will certainly make things more engaging. Don’t forget to make them feel great about themselves by complimenting their work. Kids are usually tired of the rejections and no’s they hear all day. Therefore it’s important to be their go-to ‘yes’ guy during the family portrait session.

Also, remember, the more fun kids have, the greater your chances of getting their happy faces in the family portrait. The next time you take your kids for a family portrait session, follow these tips experts at AJ Photographic to keep them happy and get excellent results