Tips for tantrum-free photos

Successful family photography sessions with your kids

Hudson Valley Children’s Outdoor Photographer

One of the top things I hear from many parents of little ones looking into family photos, is they are worried that their little ones won’t cooperate, and therefore it will affect their photo session. First off, I’m here to tell you, please do not worry! In most sessions, kids behave far better than expected, and even if they have some ups and downs, parents always tell me that their photos turned out way better than they thought they would have! Part of how I view our session, is that this is your reality, and your present moment being documented. Any parent with small kids will tell you, most times its chaotic and a little messy. So if your photos represent a little chaos, and some dirt on the toes, then it’s all good in my opinion! In ten or twenty years, I promise you will look back and treasure those moments and memories. In the meantime, I also can totally sympathize with parents wanting to have a session that seems to flow smoothly, and their kids looking and feeling their best. That’s why I wanted to share some top tips to keeping your child happy and engaged during our session!

  • SNACKS. I can’t emphasize this one enough! Bribing, snacks, treats, whatever it takes! We can take a break during our session to let the kids re group, re fuel, and re hydrate. I’m very laidback, and if it seems like we are losing engagement, a little break always helps.

  • Be patient and positive. I understand that it can be frustrating to not have kids cooperating. However, most times if parents get anxious and upset, it will transfer to the kids, and make their moods worse off. No matter how frustrated you are, I would suggest to let it go for the hour, enjoy and embrace the moment. Your mood will shine better through the photographs, and in turn, will positively impact your kids! My job is to make your family look good, including your kids, and I think I’m pretty good with little ones! I’ll handle them, and I guarantee your photos will turn out better than you could have expected!

  • Consider a sunrise session. Especially in summer time, sunset is late. My kids are pretty routine with their bedtime, so if I was to keep them up later for photos, I know it wouldn’t work out too well. So when it was time for our family photos, I got everyone up at 5:30 am for ours, and it turned out amazing! This plan won’t work for everyone, but if your kids are naturally early risers, definitely consider a sunrise time as opposed to sunset. The great thing is that everyone will take solid naps when the session is over!

  • Let go of expectations for our session, and just be present. This one is super important! Part of how I run my sessions and document my families, is a “lifestyle” approach, where I want to reflect your reality. I say my photos are honest with a magical spin, and I feel like I always want my photos to reflect honesty and authenticity. This will look different for every family! So let go of expectation, let your family just love on each other, enjoy the moment, play, and laugh- and your session will for sure be a success!

If you have any more questions or concerns about sessions with little ones, please reach out! I’d love to hear from you!


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.