I’m going to give you tips on preparing your kids for your maternity session, and they may be different than you’d think!
First let them know that a friend you trust is going to take your family’s photos to brag about what a great sibling they are going to be. Let them know we are going to have fun, play games, tell jokes. Don’t worry about telling them to smile during our session, some kids who have been coached to smile for the photographer get so nervous that they can’t relax and be their true selves. Letting me get their genuine smile is WAY better than their forced, cheesy smile. I may need your help loosening them up but usually when I lead you in fun family activities those smiles will come out naturally.
Try getting them to practice kissing your tummy, hugging your tummy or just touching it. I will ask them to do this a lot during our session so if they are familiar with it and find it fun, it will help me capture those sweet shots of them realizing a baby is coming!
Treats during the session are totally ok! Just please make sure they won’t leave their face messy. Fruit snacks and goldfish crackers are always great but try and stay away from anything that will stain their mouth or messy in any way.
The main reason I always have fun sessions and get great photos is by getting to know your family beforehand and then planning a session that will set your child up for success. One example of that planning is to have families with young kids park strategically to avoid having to walk by a playground. But after talking to you about your kids I will make sure the location and activities/poses will be comfortable for them. As a former school teacher I know that planning to prevent issues in the first place is key.
If you have a child with special needs and are worried about doing a photo session, please reach out! I love adapting sessions so families can still get photos together. It’s so important and I’d hate to think a family wouldn’t have a session because they didn’t think it was possible.
Emily Dowell is a seasoned family
photographer and print designer living
in Central Ohio. She specializes in
creating intentional artwork to
preserve irreplaceable memories that
can be beautifully displayed and
shared for years to come.