• Kayla Bertke

How to prepare your children for a portrait session | Kayla Bertke photography & design

Updated: Feb 14

Have you ever panicked after booking a family session or even been too afraid to book a session because of your little ones? I asked a client how she prepared her little girls for their family session from beginning to end and here are her tips; hopefully these can help calm your nerves!


Leading up to the session:

What are the children going to wear?

- Try not have all the children completely matching, but do have them coordinated. You want each child to stand out on their own and not look like one solid color as a whole. Also, steer clear of stripes and small plaid print.

- Keep the children comfortable. You don't want to put something on them that's itchy, too big or too small.

- Keep it simple and familiar to them. If your children don't typically wear a ton of accessories on a normal basis, you might not want to add anything too extra on the day of their session. Same goes for shoes, make sure they aren't falling off during the entire session or hurting them while they are standing.

- Look up the weather ahead of time to make sure their outfits are suitable for the weather that day.

- Be prepared beforehand. Lay out all the clothes the night before to make sure they aren't wrinkled This can also reduce any scrambling around the day of, looking for all the clothes you wanted them to wear.


Day of session:

- Have your little ones showered so they are fresh and clean for the session (Remember, these are photos you'll have for a lifetime)

- Feed them right before you are about to leave for the session. If the session is in-between meals, try to offer snacks before you have to leave.

- Arrive early to the session and dress your children on site. Depending on age, you never know what accidentally may happen during a car ride!

- Bring their favorite snacks, drinks, bottles, toys or whatever it takes to keep them happiest during their shoot.

- I love natural carefree sessions, so we both found it important that during shoots you let the children be themselves. You can explain to your children leading up to the session and right beforehand what is expected of them but at the end of the day they are children and they will do what they feel comfortable doing. Don't fret- even the most planned sessions may still not go perfectly- and that's okay!

- The MOST important piece of advice this mother shared was to Keep them happy! Happy children make for great photos- even if you have to bribe them with ice-cream afterwards ;)

Each of these colors are coordinated with the next but neither of the little ones disappear when next to their parents or each other, they stand out individually.




and of course, just let them be themselves :)



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© 2020 by Kayla Bertke Photography & Design LLC • Ohio wedding & portrait photographer