Top 10 Tips to Create your own Kids Photoshoot

Top 10 Tips to Create your own Kids Photoshoot

Top 10 Tips to Create your own Kids Photoshoot

Ever wondered how companies, brands, and influencers create beautiful photography of children? Photographs which are natural, fun, and capture the freedom of childhood? Well, here at Dotty we have a lot of experience creating our own kids photoshoot and we would love to share with you our top tips for creating your very own kids photoshoot.
Whether you’re an aspiring influencer, photographer, or just want some nice shots of your children to put around the house, we’ve got you! Here are our top tips to create your very own kids photoshoot:

  1. Choosing your location

The best way to ensure a successful kids photoshoot is to put the planning time in before you start. Firstly choose your location. This can be anywhere but we have found it works best if it is somewhere your children genuinely enjoy being. So for us, we chose a funfair for our Checkerboard and Colourblock collections.

Not only is this a really fun setting where our children could play and explore, which makes for some really interesting shots, but we could also use to entertain our children as they grow more restless.

For example, we would often ask them which ride they wanted to go on first. This created a sense of excitement and kept our children engaged with the photoshoot. (We were there before opening so it was nice and quiet, another top tip for getting the best photographs!)

Choose a location which is best for your children. Perhaps they love to explore forests, or perhaps they prefer to laze about on a beach, or maybe they love food, so an interesting ice cream truck with the promise of an ice cream after might be best. Find out what they love to do and tailor your photoshoot around them.

  1. Planning is key
As much as you want to create those effortless shots of your children on a kids photoshoot, doing some prep beforehand will help you achieve those natural shots.
Have a think about what you would like to photograph. Is this kids photoshoot for fashion, or a toy you would like to promote, or simply your children exploring beautiful scenery? The clearer you are beforehand about your reason for the photoshoot and what you would like to capture, the easier it will be on the day of your kids photoshoot.
If this is a fashion photoshoot, plan the outfits out beforehand. Make sure to bring spares in different sizes in case you need to change models during the shoot. On our Checkerboard photoshoot, one of our children was unexpectedly ill so we luckily had the clothing in a different size to fit one of our other models.
It’s good to be prepared for all eventualities especially with children!
  1. Prep your logistics
Before the day of your kids photoshoot, have a thnk about the logistics of the shoot. For example what time is best to go. Do you need a nice and quiet time with very few people around, or were you hoping to photograph the golden hour?
Also think about the facilities nearby. Is there easy parking close to the venue, accessible toilets, and somewhere you can get food if the photoshoot runs for longer than planned.
If you are doing a fashion kids photoshoot with multiple outfits, remember to have a think about where your children can get changed. If there are no toilets nearby, perhaps they could change in the car, or you could even bring a small tent for them to change in if you are doing a countryside kids photoshoot.
  1. Bring lots of treats 
Photoshoots can appear glamorous, especially on Instagram! But in reality they can be quite long and tiring days. Remember you want to make the photoshoot as much fun as possible which will help your children to stay engaged, and allow you to capture those genuinely happy moments.
Bringing some treats, whether that is the promise of ice cream after the shoot, or their favourite game to play in between shots, is a great way to ensure a fun, tantrum-free kids photoshoot!
We also recommend bringing anything that helps to soothe your child. On our Checkerboard photoshoot, we had some of the children’s favourite toys in the car for them to feel more comfortable on the shoot. Look out for the appearance of a certain little critter on our Tie Dye photoshoot!
Anything that makes your kids photoshoot more fun, is going to be beneficial for you all, in terms of the shoot itself, and the finished shots.
  1. Bring warm layers
It may appear to be a glorious sunny day when you leave the house but photoshoots can be long and you want your children feeling comfortable during the day so we would recommend bringing warm layers and blankets just in case the weather turns. This is especially the case if you are photographing anywhere unpredictable like the UK!
A nice warm blanket is perfect to help cover children when they get changed, and for getting cosy in between shots. Especially if you are photographing several different children in one kids photoshoot.
Cosy jumpers and leggings can be great at the end of a fashion kids photoshoot when they want to be comfy of their way home.
  1. Ask engaging questions
Now all of the preparation is done, phew! You are ready to start your kids photoshoot. So you have your models ready, an amazing location, and lots of treats, and warm clothing, but how do you get started?
Remember that your children may not be used to being in front of a camera, or may even just be feeling more reserved on the day of your photoshoot. To create natural, and effortless photography, a great place to start is by asking them questions.
Choose questions that you know will light them up and give you a range of facial expressions to photograph. The best photos can come from those unexpected reactions!
We tried a fun game on our Checkerboard kids photoshoot where we tried to guess the names of each child’s best friend. This may not work if it is your own children but for children you do not know very well, it is a fun and easy game to play which results in a whole host of great facial expressions. Especially when their sister is helping you to guess!
Other questions you can ask are their favourite games to play, or their favourite things they like to do. You can encourage them to tell you a story or sing a song. Any of these will help to create natural and joyful photographs.
  1. Captivate their imagination

A great tip which we learnt from Amy Smyth, our talented photographer who has been doing our kids photoshoots since we first started, is to use their imagination.
Children are great at imagining things which works really well on a kids photoshoot. Amy asks her child models to look for the fairy inside her camera. She gets them to look closely into the lens to see what colour dress the fairy is wearing.
This is such a great tip for capturing those more engaged photographs where the child seems to be looking intensely into the camera.

  1. Take lots of photographs
The best way to capture really great natural shots is to look for opportunities where your children are not looking at the camera. Those truly ‘behind the scenes’ moments when your children are simply being themselves and not worrying or posing for the camera.
A good photographer is always taking photographs in order to capture that one great natural shot. Look for opportunties where your children are freely exploring or playing and just being themselves. Perhaps they are chatting to their siblings or friends on the photoshoot, or perhaps they are playing on their own. Sometimes the best photographs are of those spontaneous moments.
  1. Be time aware
Children tend to have a much lower tolerance for boredom and so when they are bored and tired, they are usually done. Photoshoots can be quite long especially if you are keen to capture that perfect shot, and have a lot of outfit changes.
Be aware of the time and even set a timer if you have lots of photographs that need to be taken on a fashion kids photoshoot. Don’t spend too long on one shot if you can’t quite get what you are after. Maybe there is a better time to photograph that outfit or setting on a different day.
We find that once children are bored and restless, it is very hard to take any more good photographs as you can see instantly on their face. You may be able to coax them with your treats, or some play but often when they have had enough, understandably they have had enough. So having an end time will help you better manage the photoshoot, and move on more quickly when a shot just isn’t working.
  1. Have fun!

Last but definitely not least, your kids photoshoot should be fun! Remember the reason why you are doing the photoshoot in the first place. Maybe it’s an influencer deal so you were gifted some of your favourite clothes. Or perhaps it’s to visually capture a beautiful day out with your family.
Whatever your reason, we expect the main reason was to have a fun day out so remember to stay light-hearted and playful because oftentimes they produce the best photographs anyway. If not, at least you made some fun memories! 

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