As an experienced family photographer in South West London I see many families with small children.

A favourite time of year for family photos is in the autumn. I’ve created this blog to provide families with small children 6 steps for how to have a stress-free photo shoot.

boy being held by father

1. Change of clothes

Young children love to play in the park. That’s part of the reason I love to do photo shoots there. There’s a very good chance they will get a bit dirty. This is particularly true in the autumn when they love to play with leaves. So, being prepared with a spare change of clothes is always a good idea.

2.  Pick the right time

Small children will be much happier if the photo shoot doesn’t take place near or during their regular nap or meal time. I don’t need to say much more about this! The same applies if a child is ill. I am more than happy to re-arrange a photo shoot if a child has been unwell.

3. Have a session that’s no more than an hour

Most very small children will normally lose interest after about 45minutes to an hour. Not surprisingly, I usually finish my sessions around that time so that children (and parents!) leave the session feeling happy.

4. Don’t worry if they want to run around

Some small children are full of beans and energy. They are happiest when they are on the go and I don’t stop them from running around. I follow them around with my camera to catch the sweetest moments when they stop to look at something interesting. Doing an activity with mum or dad is also a perfect way to keep active children happy.

5. Choose a photographer that specialises in children’s portraits

Part of why children’s photographers get such great pictures of children is that they understand how small people behave. As a mother of a 4 year old I know what techniques work and don’t work with children. The way I photograph small children is quite different from how I do business portraits. I even choose my lenses based on the temperament of the child! Sessions will be much less stressful if you have a photographer that feels comfortable and happy around small children. 

6. Have a bag of goodies and useful things

These things can come in really handy on a photo shoot. I ask families to bring their children’s hair brush and wipes. Don’t forget that you can also bring some ‘bribe’ treats you can use towards the end of a photo shoot as an incentive if needed!


If you’re thinking of having a photo shoot with your children, I highly recommend seasonal sessions. My autumn sessions are always popular and if you’d like to have a session with me, feel free to get in touch or you can book a session using the calendar below: