4 Tips for portrait sessions with kids

As you gear up for planning portrait sessions with your family and kids, I want to give some helpful tips so you get the most out of your session.

There a few things that I implement into each session that bring out the best of them. Cuddling and interacting with them, bringing an extra person, their favorite snacks and toys are just a few things that can also help them during your session!

Truly just letting them enjoy their season of life and be themselves is always a win! You’ll get their personality through and through.

So without further ado, here are 4 tips for portrait sessions with kids


Interacting with them

Your little one knows you and feels safe with you because of your relationship with them. You know how to make them smile, laugh, giggle and respond to you. In addition to helping to create an authentic emotion, you are creating a moment with them that only you will have.

Bring an extra person

In the age of COVID-19 it is important to have an extra layer of safety with your family so I know that bringing an extra person to the session would have more extra thought to keeping your safe. The idea of bringing an extra person is to have someone be an extra hand with the items you need for your family. Before your session, I give a checklist of what to bring to prepare you fully and having someone there can help with that. Another way they can help is to keep your little ones attention while I take your group photos. Whether that is interacting with them with the items you brought, make fun faces along with me or grabbing something you need in-between shots. Staying with them while you take individual or couple portraits also gives you a chance to get shots of yourself and relationship. Having that extra person is so beneficial for your time together.

Having the kids favorite snacks & toys

Pre Covid-19 I brought toys and snacks to each session but to keep everyone safe and limit physical touch I recommend bringing their favorite toys and snacks to enhance their experience during the session. Getting the kids ready with full bellies is helpful but giving them a break while you take photos to enjoy a snack is another dose of happy that will keep them engaged. Because I create a shot list with you and a shooting flow for your session I build in time for them to take a break. This normally happens after the first set of photos with the family all together, move on to groupings or individual shots but most importantly, I gage how they’re doing and adjust accordingly so that everything on the shot list gets accomplished!

Enjoy their season of life

Young children are in a stage of life where they want to play even during a portrait session. While it’s important to engage with them, give them the right prompts and questions to help them along It’s important to meet them where they are. It’s sometimes unpredictable how they’ll respond for each shot. The most helpful thing one can do, is play along so you get authentic interactions and them enjoying their season of life with you. More than anything they feel safe with you and also with me.

For older kids, my top tip is helping me get to know them before the session by giving the details that come with a questionnaire or during our consultation. There I get to know your family and how to meet them during their time in front the camera.

kids portait session tips


Your story and legacy are one of the most beautiful things you can pass on to your kids, for yourself and for others to find joy in it as well. These tips will not only benefit your time in front the camera but for decades to come as they become a part of your family’s memories and experiences.


I love these portrait sessions and look forward to seeing my families and community enjoy these moments together and impact their families.


Renee Jael

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Email: Renee@reneejael.com

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