Paula Deegan Photography

Home ALL Tips for a successful photo shoot with kids

Tips for a successful photo shoot with kids


  • Arrange the photo session around your children’s nap and feeding schedule to ensure they’re at their best. If you try to cram a session in before a nap or meal, you’ll end up with cranky little ones. Well rested and well fed kids are happier and more cooperative.
  • Organise something special to wear. Professional photos aren’t something we have done every day so make sure you prepare your child’s outfits in advance. Do some extra styling with your child’s hair or incorporate fun props like hats or scarves. Click HERE for ideas on how to coordinate your kids’ outfits. Click HERE for kids’ outfit ideas.
  • Offer your child or children a reward for behaving cooperatively at the photo shoot. It’s also an idea to have incentives for the duration of the shoot like snacks or sweets to help them stay motivated. Jelly sweets are particularly good; they don’t make a mess so we won’t have to stop shooting to wipe up crumbs or spills.
  • Be on time or arrive early. This will ensure you have a few minutes for your child and photographer to get comfortable with one another. This is helpful for adults too as it’s just as important for you to have some time to connect with and get to know your photographer before jumping in front of their lens.



  • Talk about the photo session endlessly in advance. While picture day can be exciting, it can also be exciting and kids can get worked up with the anticipation of a big event. Mention it once or twice so they are prepared and then leave it until the day of the session. When picture day arrives, remember that photos are fun and that it’s not a huge production they need to be nervous about.
  • Ask your child to practice their ‘smile’ for the camera. Children have a way of ‘smiling’ for the camera which isn’t really ‘smiling’. My aim is to encourage interaction between family members on the day so that your child expresses her/himself naturally and then capture that.


But most importantly:

Remember to enjoy the shoot. Natural smiles are the result of a good time. Enjoy the time spent capturing the moments and smiles of your family. The resulting photos are what you will look back on and enjoy!