• Tania Gaylor Photography

How To Keep Little Tantrums & Bad Attitudes From Ruining Your Family Portrait

So you’re all set to go. You’ve just arrived at the location where you are about to have your family portrait taken but your six year old has other ideas…he’s not in the mood to be photographed!!  Well, here are 6 things you can do to overcome your toddler having a tantrum or your teen just doesn't want to be there…


1. Stay Calm:  I know you’ve spent all this time planning and preparing your portrait session, making sure it all goes to plan and it’s hard not to feel a little upset (even rope-able!) when your child doesn’t want to cooperate.  But it is important you don’t lose your cool at this point, it will only upset you and your child even more, causing more rebellion and not a happy experience you hoped for your family portrait. It’s best just to take a

d-e-e-p breath and let it go.


2. Don’t try and reason with them: All you want is that your child calms down and cooperates right away. So you try talking to her. You start in a very calm voice, giving her a list of reasons why she is being silly acting this way and she needs to stop misbehaving and do what the photographer says! This will only make her feel more uncomfortable and continue on her rebellious way…causing more upset for both of you, and your temper starts to get a little short. The less you try and reason with them, the sooner they will come around and cooperate.


3. Don’t tell them to be on their best behavior for the photographer: This only makes them scared of the photographer and not responsive at all to any requests.


4. Avoid bribes:  Kids are smarter than we think and when we start bribing them with treats or a gift, it can only end up in frustration for everyone involved.


5. It’s all in the planning:  There are two key elements when working with an experienced boutique photographer and one is that you and your children have the opportunity to meet your photographer on a different day during the planning session. This allows your children to connect with the photographer before the portrait session so they feel more comfortable with him/her on the day of the photo shoot. Secondly, it allows your children to be more involved in the preparation and excitement of having their photographs taken, making it more fun for them to be involved at the portrait session.


6. Leave it to the photographer:  If on the day of your session, your child is having a bad day, it is best to step back and let the photographer take over. An experienced portrait photographer knows how to deal with toddler tantrums, and teenagers who don’t want to be there, so just leave it to them. Sometimes just by having a little walk (away from the parent) and talking about what they see and hear around them, that can break the ice. Sometimes it might be looking for bugs in a tree or racing to the top of the hill. And for teenagers, it might be just empathising with them about how it’s so not cool having your family photos taken with your family and just talking about things they are interested in.


If your photographer is experienced, and knows how to work with people of all ages, then just put your trust in them and hand over the reins for a short while and see how amazing your portraits will be and how much fun you will have...you will end up having the best time of our lives.


What did you think? Were these tips helpful? Let me know in the comments below!

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