5 Tips for Dealing With Children Not Cooperating During a Portrait Session:

Temper tantrum during photo session

One of the trickiest parts of children’s portrait photography is getting children to cooperate during a photo session. This can be because they are shy, nervous, unhappy, and fussy or simply don’t want their photos taken. They are children, not professional models so I always remind parents that we can take all the time we need as I only schedule one session per day. However, there are a few tips I have for parents and fellow photographers to make the session run smoother!


1.  I ask the child to tell me a joke or something funny.

I love watching a child tell a joke and then laugh hysterically after. I adore capturing blissful laughter!


2. I let the child play or do their own thing to get natural unposed photographs.

I do a series of posed pictures but often try to capture the child’s personality and essence by sneakily taking pictures of them in their own world.  I once had a session where a 4 year old decided that from the start he wasn’t having his picture taken. He saw my camera and screamed, “ No pictures!” He refused to even look at the camera. Instead of doing posed shots and putting pressure on the child to smile, I watched him play with his parents and we got some great natural shots of him laughing and jumping.


3.  I ask parents to bring any favourite toys or blankets for the session.

I find having a child’s favourite toys or items of comfort to play with helps ease the child when having a scary big camera pointed in their face. They also make great props!


4. I bring props!

I love incorporating props in my photography sessions; they set a scene and create a great mood. However, that’s not the only reason I use props! I also use props such as confetti, glitter, crowns or suitcases to give the child something to focus on or play with in the session; this helps create beautiful natural shots.

5. Relax!

Being stressed out trying to get the perfect photo usually has the opposite effect, just relax, interact, talk and wait for the right moment!