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Family portraits are when you get to do all the crazy stuff! Little ones make it so fun and spontaneous. Since most toddlers and youngin's aren't too interested in posing and smiling on cue, I like to make it play time. Organized(ish) playtime! I like playing outside and letting little ones run around and burn out some energy. That usually makes for the best candid shots of the day. 

How do I get my kid(s) to smile?

SUPER important to most parents! Of course, I prefer smiling babies, too. The best way to do this, from my experience, is to have bellies full and naps taken prior to your session. Hungry, sleepy kids are not happy kids. Pack a couple of their favorite noisy toys and give one to the photographer to shake around to get their attention and get them to smile. Now, to make sure everyone is looking and smiling, that means parents have to stay focused. If the photographer is doing the work to make the kids look and smile, then parents: keep your eyes on the camera and a smile on your face! If you are looking at your child(ren) and talking to them and pointing at the camera, that is what will be in your pictures.

We're professionals for a reason, so don't worry. We got this! ;)

What else do I need to bring?

Snacks are always a good idea for kiddos. Let's be real. They need a break from modeling sometimes. A little snack and water would be a good thing to keep them busy. I've even bribed kids to smile and look at me just to be rewarded with a fruit gummy! With that said, make sure they are snacks that won't be messy. Bring wipes just in case, but let's play it safe and stay away from bright red fruit juice and lollipops. It won't end well. Trust me.

Props are also great! Favorite toys, a blanket, and really, anything meaningful. If you want it in the pictures, bring it.