April 26, 2023

What if my kids misbehave during family photos? | Seattle Family Photographer Janet Lin Photography

You wouldn’t believe how many times I get asked this question! As a mama, I totally understand the concern over whether or not your children will cooperate during family photos. You’ve invested time and money into your photography session and you want it to go well. I cannot promise you that your children will be perfectly behaved during our session together. But I can promise you that even if they aren’t, we will get beautiful photos. Here are a few things I hope you’ll keep in mind if you find yourself worrying about your children’s behavior as you prepare for your session:

1. Many parents view ‘normal’ behavior as misbehavior during a family session. A few examples?

Your child is making silly faces instead of ‘smiling nicely.’
Your child is wiggling and jumping when you want them to stand still.
Your child is more interested in a stick than looking at the camera.

THAT’S NORMAL! Challenge yourself to let your kid be a kid during our time together. When we manage our own expectations for our child’s behavior, we set everyone up for success. And I simply love capturing children in their element; goofy, shy, quiet, fast – it’s part of who they are and part of what makes documenting these years so special!

2. I promise you, the meltdown will not last forever.

I’ve seen plenty of meltdowns and tantrums in my years of being a photographer/teacher/mother and there is one thing they all have in common– they eventually come to an end. We can pause our session for you to give your child some extra love. And when it feels like it will never end? Don’t worry because…

3. There are many ways to create beautiful photographs even when a child is unhappy.

I’ll never forget the time my son (the one that I anticipated would have zero issues with family photos) started crying the minute we got out of the car. Why? He had a blister. And that blister was ruining his little life at the moment. I held him (even though he was half my size) and sang to him and meanwhile, our family photographer took a photo of us that that I will cherish forever. Tears and all. Part of my job as your photographer is to find beauty in unexpected places and to create magic from madness. My encouragement to you is to love on your kids through these challenging moments and allow me to capture the authentic connection you share.

4. If you’re worried about judgement, please don’t.

Your child’s behavior during a family photo session is 1 – not a reflection of their behavior all the time and 2 – not a reflection of your parenting skillset. I am a mom of two (very wild) little boys. I taught Kindergarten and first grade for years. And I have photographed countless families with children who, like yours, are perfectly and wonderfully normal… and rarely behave how you want them to in front of a stranger. During your family photo session I hope you’ll feel nothing but supported and valued!

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