5 Tips To Prepare For Your Upcoming Family Session This Mother's Day

To help you feel more prepared


Written by: Paola A. Rivera [Photographer]

Planning a family photoshoot soon?

I'm here to help you succeed with your kids

Mother's Day is coming up and the perfect way to celebrate being a mother is by planning a mommy and me photoshoot with your kids! Trust me, the photos are soooo worth it after they're done and are memories you can cherish forever. Remember, kids are only little for so long! And yes, sometimes, taking family photos can be stressful, especially on mom, but as a photographer, I want to take that load off you and teach you exactly how to prepare your kids ahead of time for the session.

Let's Get To It!!

#1: Practice smiling with your kids!

Number one

Try having them stand in front of a mirror and practice their "silly smile" vs their "pretty smile." Make it a game, make it fun and engaging. You want your kids to find their most beautiful, natural smile all while having fun. You can also practice by using your phone to take selfies where they can actually see what their smile looks like. The reason why I say to practice different types of smiles is because you want them to be able to quickly identify that "pretty smile" when you ask for it during your family photo session.

#2: Have your kids fed and well slept!


This is such a big one, because I've seen way too many parents not come prepared and have their kids being hungry or tired, which causes them to be fussy, uncooperative or even have full blown melt downs during a session. I've even had kids not smile for a single photo, because their basic human needs aren't met. ALSO! Be sure to never schedule a photo session during or around your child's nap time! It will help you conduct a stress-free family photo session.

#3: Sometimes, it's okay to bribe your kids!


Parents do it every time and there is nothing wrong with it! I've seen bribes anywhere from a couple M&M's to buying a toy at Target after to going to Disney World after! The list is long, but you know your kids best and what bribes will make them cooperate the best. After all, if you are spending time coordinating a photo session, you want to make sure your kids are happy during the session. Don't be afraid to bribe them, if needed!

#4: Tears are at times out of your control!


I've had parents do everything in their power to keep their kids happy during a session, but it just doesn't happen. This is true, sometimes practicing, eating, sleeping or bribery doesn't work and that is where keeping your calm is important. Let the photographer take charge and do their job. I know when a child is crying during an entire session or in a serious mood, I have still been able to capture at least one good photo! My shutter moves fast and so do I! And yes- parents of uncooperative kiddos have told me they have no idea how I captured such incredible photos while their kids were crying! A good photographer will do all in their willpower to make it happen!

#5: Remember to relax and be natural!


Most important of all, don't stress about it! Whether this is your first family session or your fifth, all will go well. Don't stress if things don't go as planned or you forget something at home. It is all okay and the photos will be memorable no matter what! I think photo sessions are a great way for families to rekindle and spend time together. These are the memories you will be able to take with you and cherish once your kids are big and grown!

BONUS TIP: Never forget about you and your spouse!

Yes, it may be Mother's Day and you may be looking for a session of just you and your kids, however, if your spouse happens to be sticking around, include them for at least one photo! I love seeing parents take photos of just the two of them and I try to make this happen during every family session I take. It is so important for parents to capture their love and what holds their family together in the first place. Never leave your spouse behind!


Family photos are nothing to stress out about! A good photographer knows what they're doing and how to make a session go as smoothly as can be. I've been doing this for a while now and know that each family is different, each session is different and every kid is different. That being said, they're all beautiful in their unique way and beautiful outcomes can come out of that! If you're ready to book your Mother's Day session this year, my family sessions are actually on sale! For any session booked for May or June of 2024, you will be getting a discounted rate! Inquire now to book a session!