How to Prepare Young Kids for a Portrait Session in Costa Rica
It’s every mom’s worst nightmare when it comes to family portraits. The elusive smiles of her family — especially the toddler who is usually a ham but refuses to cooperate in front of the professional’s camera.
Maybe it’s happened to you before, by the end of the session you’re just begging everyone for “one decent picture”!
So how do you avoid this stress and be able to relax and enjoy your family photo session in beautiful Costa Rica? I’ve put together these tips for how to prepare young kids for a portrait session to help set things off on the right foot.
1. Pick the Right Clothes
Comfy clothes that your kids like are the best clothes for a portrait session. You might have your heart set on this adorable bow or that cute little hat. Unfortunately, if your child hates it, this feeling will shine through in your photographs.
I promise you’ll much rather have a happy kid in your images than your favorite accessory.
2. Feed Them and Bring Snacks
A hangry kid doesn’t photograph well. No matter how smiley they usually are, once those hunger pains roll in, the smiles roll out.
Do yourself a favor and make sure they eat not too long before the shoot. Bringing a few snacks along doesn’t hurt either, but stick with something that won’t be messy.
3. Talk About the Portrait Session Beforehand
Start setting the tone for the shoot early in the day. Let your kids know we’ll be taking photographs on the beach and how excited you are about it. Be enthusiastic and focus on how much fun it’s going to be.
If your kids are old enough to understand, you can chat positively about a few expectations. But don’t put on too much pressure or it can backfire.
4. Relax, Be Silly, and Have Fun
Kids tend to take their cues from you. If you are relaxed and excited about the session, they are more likely to be excited too.
I do my best to put everyone at ease in front of the camera. I also have plenty of experience getting amazing images of all sorts of people with different family dynamics. Seriously, you can relax, have fun, and let me worry about how the photographs turn out.
5. Let Them Run!
Most of my family sessions happen on the beach. People naturally gravitate towards the beauty of Costa Rica’s shores when they come to visit.
When kids get to the beach, whether they’ve seen it one or one thousand times, they want to run free! I’ve seen it with my own daughter and with the countless families that I’ve photographed.
So I say, let them run! And chase after them too, if you want. I guarantee we’ll get some amazing dynamic images with big smiles on all your faces.
Then, once everyone is a touch tired and grinning from ear to ear, we’ll grab a couple of those posed ones that you can put on your Christmas cards this year.
Moments to Last a Lifetime
These tips will help you prepare young kids for a portrait session, but the biggest one is to just relax and enjoy the time together. That’s the beauty of lifestyle images, we’re documenting how your family is at this moment in time.
Feel free to slow down and enjoy this special time with your family. On a beach in Costa Rica, you’ll be experiencing something new. I’m going to capture that joy and wonder — all you have to do is dive in headfirst and have fun!