9 tips for preparing your child for their session

Your session is right around the corner! Are you ready?

I’ve prepared a list of things for you to remember in order to make sure your child is prepared for their big day!

Don’t forget to feed your child before the session.

Also, pack snacks just in case hunger strikes again while we’re shooting. Be sure they are small, easy to eat snacks that won’t make a mess. We don’t want chocolate all over their face or them chewing in the images.

Bring more than one outfit.

Make sure you always have backup clothes just in case. And I suggest that you don’t change your child into their session clothing until after you have fed them. Also, be very careful with drinks, as well – only clear liquids in a safe cup.

Let your child help when picking out their clothes for the session

(Unless they have a hideous sense of fashion.) By letting your child wear his favorite shirt or shoes, etc. this will help them feel more comfortable. If their choice of clothing is awful or doesn’t match, see if you can use that shirt as an undershirt or tell them they can put it on for a couple of shots at the end of the session.

Try to schedule the session around their nap time

So they will be well rested and happy for photos. We will work together to be sure that it is a good time for you and for great light that we are striving for.

Have a bribe in place.

Bring fruit snacks, candy, a toy, etc. and let them know that if they cooperate they will get said bribery. Some parents have bribed their children by telling them if they are good, they can watch Netflix on Mommy or Daddy’s phone. Use whatever you think will work for your child to motivate them to cooperate. (Yes, I am not opposed to bribery…)

Bring along their favorite toy or blanket.

This will help your child be comfortable in new, unfamiliar surroundings. Just be aware that this will probably become a prop in some of the photos, so bring something that is pleasing to the eyes or has sentimental value and you’d be okay with photos of it.

Talk to your child about the session and explain what’s going to happen.

If your child is informed about the situation, it will be less scary for them when they come to the session. Tell them that they are going to meet a new friend who is going to take some pictures of them. Let them know that you’ll be there with them and that we are going to have lots of fun. We might change their clothes once or twice and ask them to sit a certain way. During the session, we can show them a couple of the photos so they can put two and two together. I am also very play based, and this helps my little clients warm up quickly.

Keep things as calm and normal as possible before and during the session.

I know how stressful it is on us moms to get everyone and everything together for this session we have planned so diligently. Just remember, there is nothing I can’t help you with once we get together, so it is more important to keep everything low key and calm beforehand.

Wear sturdy shoes.

It is a good idea to wear good, sturdy shoes to a session like this, as it’s challenging to chase a little one around in heels. During the session, I may ask you to grab your child if he keeps running out of the frame. Or I may have us walking around exploring, so we need to be prepared to keep our feet safe and comfortable. Yes those Louboutin’s look fab for a night out, but we probably won’t even really see them in your pics and will make your session more difficult on you. Most of the time I will have you all kick off your shoes anyway and even get in the water!


Hey friend! Haven’t booked your upcoming session yet? Be in good hands and contact me today! We will create the family session you have always wanted together. Contact me HERE to talk more

XO Summer

Please don’t hesitate to reach out about working together! I’m a Downers Grove family and small business photographer, but I work across Chicago and the western suburbs, including Hinsdale, LaGrange, Oak Brook, Elmhurst, Western Springs, Clarendon Hills, Wheaton, Burr Ridge, Glen Ellyn, Lemont, Naperville, Westchester and Lisle. If you’re wondering if I’m able to travel to your area, just ask!