How to Navigate a Late Summer Sunset Session With Small Kids

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Hudson Valley Family and Newborn Photographer

How to have a successful family photography session with small kids

One of the things I have heard from clients as to why they are drawn to my photos is the way I capture the light. Whether it is a golden light flare, or a dreamy soft sunset glow, I love capturing and using light in my images. All of the photographs in my portfolio are shot within one hour of either sunrise or sunset. When the sun is that low, almost below the horizon, it creates this magical light- but I have to be quick, because it is fleeting! Especially in the summer months when the sun sets much later, the most common concern I get from families is about missing bedtimes, or staying up too late and having a fear their child will be over tired. As a mom of three little ones myself, believe me when I say- I understand! My kids have strict bed time routines so I know the anxiety it can cause about being off schedule. However, kids are resilient, and with all the sessions I have done with little kids, they have all been successful. Here are the tips I like to share with families:

  • Alter your schedule for that whole day to “trick” the body of your child that it isn’t as late as it is. Think of all the things that your child depends on as part of a routine, and push them ahead. Whether it is meal times, naps, etc., by altering your child’s schedule slightly, they are more likely to be engaged later on in the day.

  • Bring lots and lots of snacks! Bribes go a long way in my house. Bring a special treat, sippy cup, even a security object for your little one. Having full bellies will eliminate any crankiness caused by hunger, and having their special “lovey” with them will make them feel more secure. Plus I love capturing little ones with their special objects- what a beautiful memory to look back on!

  • You will be surprised that many children are so distracted by me (a new person!) and my camera, that they forget about being tired! My sessions are fun- and aside from the posed photographs that I try to do in the beginning, the rest is laid back. So, let your child run and have fun… if anything hopefully it will make them sleep better when it is bedtime!

  • Let go of what you can’t control: This is the biggest thing. The big picture is that it is one evening where a schedule may be altered. Try to go with the flow and do things out of the ordinary with your child so that they, in turn, are relaxed and enjoying the session. You have invested good money into your photographs, and I want to give you the best images I can! Photography is all about the light. So relax, have fun, and enjoy a beautiful summer evening with your family!

Any other questions or concerns? I’d love to hear them!



I wholeheartedly believe in the power of authentic documentation. Our stories and truths are not only a gift for ourselves, but also through the generations, becoming treasured keepsakes as proof of our place and time. My passion lies in storytelling that focuses on your present moments. Whether our adventures take us deep into the Hudson Valley, high in the Catskill Mountains, or within the comfort of your home, it is always about where you are meant to be and where you feel the most alive.