Outdoor sessions are best when booked during ‘golden hour’ – that magically sun-kissed time, right before the sun is scheduled to set. But depending on the season you are inquiring about, that time frame might be way past your little one’s normal bedtime. How to keep the kids up late in order to catch the light is definitely a worry many of my clients have experienced! As an experienced Maryland family photographer (and a mom to two little ones who used to have strict 7pm bedtimes!) I love to help my clients prepare their families for our sessions. With over ten years of golden hour sessions under my belt, I’ve learned a few tricks along the way and am here to share my tips to keep the kids awake and happy for family photos at sunset!
Tip #1 – Keep your cool
The day of a photo session can definitely bring the stress! As tough as it may be, try to do something relaxing for yourself before our session. Get your makeup or hair done, spend an hour at Starbucks having an indulgent drink and reading a book, maybe have a glass of wine while getting ready 😉 The photos we create together are going to be amazing, I promise! But your family can feel your energy and taking the time to make sure sure that everyone is feeling positive vibes going into our session is important.
Tip #2 – Make naptime top priority
Keeping small children up past their bedtimes can be tricky – but not impossible. Something that really helps is getting in a solid nap earlier that day. In order to prevent the dreaded ‘no nap’ day, don’t rush naptime prep. Maybe give them a nice relaxing afternoon bath, sing an extra song, whatever will help your little one feel calm and sleepy.
Tip #3 – No empty bellies!
‘Hangry’ is a term for a reason, right? 😉 Please make sure everyone (including parents!) have been fed before our session. Feel free to bring a few non-messy snacks to the session like apple slices, string cheese, pouches, etc – snacks that can be quickly eaten but won’t stain mouths or leave crumby faces or teeth.
Tip #4 – Pick weather appropriate clothing
Comfortable kids are happy kids 🙂 And this starts with clothing. If it’s cold, adding 1-2 extra layers under outfits really helps! Layering warm leggings or tights under pants and adding an extra onesie and long socks can make a chilly day not so bad 🙂 Using seasonal accessories as photo props is also really fun – sunglasses and hats in the summer can add great variety to your session. In winter, layering scarves, hats and mittens is practical and cute!
Tip #5 – Choose a new location
When there is a fun new place to explore, I find that most kids will usually forget about being tired and become interested in their new surroundings (and their new friend – me!).
Tip #6 – Hire a family photographer who brings the fun!
When you hire a Maryland family photographer who is play-based (me!), they are going to have tons of fun things for your family to do during your photo session, which will keep everyone having a good time!
Are you ready to book your family photo session? I am currently booking for June – September 2022 and would love to chat with you! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact form on this site 🙂
Looking for some more session prep help? Check out this post: