If there’s one thing kids are good at, it’s being a bit silly. There’s a meme floating around the interwebs this fall. And I’m going to have to respectfully disagree… cancel that, I’m going to have to vehemently disagree. PLEASE let your kids be silly. Don’t make them sit still and smile for their whole photo session. And don’t hang all their happiness on this one little hour. Yeah, I know portraits cost money. I get it, you’ve really worked hard to find perfectly coordinated outfits and fresh haircuts and darn it, you want to look GOOD in that social media post. But I beg you, not like this.

Please, for the love of all the smiles, just let them be kids! Kids are wiggly. Kids are fun. Kids like to laugh and they like to play. They don’t really like to sit still and smile and say cheese. So when we have our session, I’m going to PLAY with them. We are going to have fun together.

“But! But. But photographer lady… I want them all looking and smiling!”

Don’t worry. It’s super rare that I can’t get that perfect Christmas card photo even if you don’t threaten to take away all their joy. All you’ve got to do is give a little trust over to me, and let me work some magic. Oh, and mom – you need to smile. Like literally the whole time. Don’t worry about what little Sally is doing or if the baby is smiling, I’ll take care of that. You just worry about your own face. 😉

What can you tell the kids?

  • Tell them that we’re going to have fun! Tell them that they are allowed to laugh and play!
  • Tell them to listen carefully to me, because I’ve got some really cool ideas of stuff to do.
  • Tell them to be kind and sweet to their siblings.
  • Tell them that they are allowed to give and get as many hugs and kisses as they want.
  • Tell them to be curious, because we’ve got a lot to explore!
  • Tell them you’ll get ice cream when you are done, but don’t hold it over their heads. Keep it positive!

You see, the very best sessions aren’t a chore. They are a big adventure. 

This super fun family has two very active boys. Like most boys, sitting still and smiling isn’t on their to-do list. But throwing rocks into water and rolling in the grass? That is on the agenda. So is giving mom and dad some very sweet hugs and kisses, because guess what? Mom and dad were chill and happy and not threatening to take away their candy forever.

Was the session perfect? heck no, we had a moment with many tears, when big brother got a little too rough with little brother and knocked him flat onto the pavement. Stuff happens. We brush it off, kiss the boo-boos, and move on to the next little adventure.

So I’m going to change the meme to fit my style:

"Behind every super fun photo shoot is a mom who lets her kids be kids and a photographer who can keep up."