How to get children to behave for a family photo shoot

If you are wondering how to get children to behave for a family photo shoot, you’re not alone.  Many of my clients tell me this is a worry for them.  They beg, bribe and barter; making promises if the kids will just sit still and smile!

It doesn’t matter

But, once you’ve planned what to wear and the weather is looking gorgeous, you don’t need to panic.  Keep reading to find out why it really doesn’t matter what your kids do!

how to get children to behave on your photo shoot

Go with the flow

The great thing about an outdoor family photo session is that it doesn’t matter! My whole ethos for your shoot is about going with the flow; reading individual personalities and adapting to the situation. Sometimes, your kids will be amazing posers and love the camera! Other times, they are nervous of new people and new situations and need a bit of time to come out of their shell.


If your children are in the pre-school age group, I can bring props such as a bubble machine or a squeaky toy to distract them. If you’ve got primary school aged kids, climbing trees, doing cartwheels and pulling funny faces really gets everyone relaxed and at ease in front of the camera. And then, if you’ve got awkward teenagers, that’s fine too! We can chat about what they like to do and incorporate some of that into the shoot; I’ve also got a great repertoire of terrible jokes to try and crack a smile on even the most recalcitrant teen!

Related Reading: Find out how I photograph moody teenagers here!

So I hope that if you have been worried about how to get your children to behave for a family photo shoot, that you can see is doesn’t matter!  The trick is – relax! We’re going to capture beautiful imagery of you as a family together.  For an hour or two, don’t worry about how to get your children to behave – I’ll win them over with my tried and tested silliness!  😃

“The whole experience with Georgina was amazing.

As soon as we met her, she was chatting to everyone, making the children feel relaxed and comfortable. So much so, that our normally shy little boy thought the photo shoot was a fun adventure and Georgina really managed to capture his character in her photos. I have never had so many compliments on a set of photos of my family. We really do have the most beautiful photos to cherish forever, and will be using her again to capture more memories as the children grow up.”

Clare – outdoor family photo shoot