I schedule my sessions based on the best lighting. This can often mean keeping your little ones up late for your evening photo session. I wanted to give you some tips for making your evening photo session successful. If evening really isn’t a good fit your family, you may want to consider a sunrise session. I have another blog post about why I love morning sessions.
I had my own family photos done this past weekend. Our start time was at my youngest daughter’s bedtime. Here are some things we did to make the session successful.
Relaxed Day before your evening photo session
You don’t want your little ones to be worn out by the time of your session. Planning to have a relaxed day is a great way to do this. We took a walk around the block and played in the backyard in the morning. In the afternoon we watched a movie. My kids had plenty of energy and weren’t cranky for the session because our day had been relaxed.
Keep your usual routine of the day up until the session. Have meals and naps at the same time of the session. It can be tempting to move naps to try to make your little one less tired in the evening. I think this can often lead to sleeping less well at nap time and actually result in your child being more tired. From my experience, kids are excited to be out late in a new place doing something fun. Most kids actually do really well during evening sessions. They may get tired toward the end, but that just means we get some sleepy and cuddly photos. Our session started at my 2 year old’s bed time. She was so excited to be out and going for a walk at her bed time. She got a wave of energy and was running around laughing. Of all three kids, she seemed to have the most energy.
Dinner before your evening photo session
Plan to have a dinner that you know your kids will eat. This isn’t the time to introduce a new food or tackle that hated vegetable. We were all about mac and cheese and chicken nuggets. This ensures that your kids aren’t hungry during the session.
Treat for afterwards
I am a big believer in positive reinforcement. For those of you who don’t know, my previous career was as a behavior analyst. I think talking to your kids about your expectations for the session and offering reinforcement for meeting those expectations is a great way to motivate your kids to participate in the session. It also makes the outing of the session and getting a treat a positive experience that they can look forward to. We told my girls that if they had calm bodies and good listening ears, we would stop for ice cream on the way home. It was a great way to end the evening out with our family.
I hope you find these tips helpful. In the end, the thing that will make your session the most successful is to just relax, have fun, and connect with your family during the session.
For more tips for you next photo session check out client resource blogs