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5 Things to Bring to Your Next Family Photo Session

Updated: May 3, 2022

So you've booked a shoot. You've decided on a location. You've selected outfits for everyone. Great!! But how do you best get your kids onboard with family photos?? Here are my top 5 things that you can bring with you to help ensure that your kids have a great time and we capture some beautiful family images!

A family smiles during a studio newborn photo shoot with Erie newborn photographer Ashley Stack Photography
Toddlers attentions spans are short! Bring a few different toys with you!

1. Non-messy snacks!!

We've all seen those Snickers commercials, right? The ones where the celebrities are cranky because they're hungry.

Well, kids are the same way! (Heck, so am I!) Nobody wants to smile for the camera if they're hangry! So, ideally, feed your kiddos at least a snack before our shoot. And make sure to bring a non-messy snack and water bottle for during the shoot, just in case they need a bit of a pick-me-up. Examples would include cheerios, fruit snacks, or goldfish crackers.

2. An extra outfit

Hey, accidents happen...whether it's a trip-and-fall-in-the-mud situation or you get to our shoot and one kiddo has a giant stain on their shirt. It's best to be prepared and have a back up!

A family walks together during a Fall portrait session with Erie family photographer Ashley Stack Photography
Always have a backup outfit...just in case!

3. A special lovie

Every kiddo seems to have that one special stuffy/blanket/character that they absolutely love. Bring it with you to our shoot! We can use it to play peek-a-boo to get some great smiles, or they can just cuddle with their special lovie and take some time to warm up. When you bring something special of your child's it gives me something to talk to them about, too! So I can build trust with them and get them interested in our session.

Ashley Stack Photography captures a mother holding her son in Erie, Pennsylvania
Sometimes kiddos just want to snuggle; and that's OK!! It will give us some beautiful, quiet moments to capture!

4. A book that you love to read together

This is especially great for kiddos who tend to be a little shy, at first. They can snuggle with a parent and read their special book together. These make for such sweet images, and it also helps them relax and come out of their shell a bit.

Ashley Stack photographs a family and their dog in Erie, PA
Well behaved furry friends are welcome at our session!

5. Treats for a job well done!!

I always have a box of special treats for kids at the end of a session; but if you want them to have something different, make sure you bring it with you! You can tell them ahead of time or keep it a surprise...but make sure they know what a great job they've done at the end of our session!

Ashley Stack photographs a family of four at Presque Isle beach in Erie, PA
Kiddos deserve special treats for a job well done!

6. *Bonus* A great attitude!!!

Having a positive, upbeat attitude goes a LONG way!! Kids will pick up on your vibe. So the more excited and happier you are before our shoot, the more invested your kiddos will be during our session!

I hope this list helps to prepare you and your kiddos for your next family shoot! Leave me a comment and let me know which one you think would work best for your kids! Ready to book your shoot? Contact me here!

Until next time, take care, and smile pretty!!

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