THE BIG 5 | How To Prepare Your Child For Their Birthday Photo Session -

THE BIG 5 | How To Prepare Your Child For Their Birthday Photo Session

Dallas, TX 

Since Lina was born, I made a promise to take photos with her every year during her birthday month. So far I have kept that promise and I plan to keep it that way.  It hasn’t been easy though. Ever since she was a baby she has never let me take pictures of her.  As she gets older it gets a little more difficult every time.  She absolutely hates the camera! Of course that would happen to me, right! I hope one day she will get over that ( Although, I highly doubt it ). 

However, there are a few things I have found helpful . So you might ask, how do I prepare my daughter for picture day?

First, I don’t tell her we are having picture day, instead we are having “Dress-Up Day” (and she gets to wear makeup). The week of the photo shoot we go shopping for our outfits. The important thing here is that I let her choose her dress so that I know she will be comfortable in it and happy with it. I have found that if I choose a dress for her, that she didn’t like, throughout the entire photo session she would be unhappy and her mood would be ruined. Once she has chosen a dress then she helps me find my dress that will go well with her outfit.  Sometimes we get some new shoes and jewelry as well. This process in itself gets her excited and she looks forward to the day she can wear her dress. Now granted that day she still may not be in the mood of pictures, she is still a kid. 


On the day of the shoot we relax, spend the day at home getting ready, and playing together. I let her brush my hair and I let her brush her hair as well. I don’t try and force a specific hair due on her. I let her decided what hairstyle she wants.  Sometimes, if we remember, I paint her nails and put a little makeup on her. Lastly, we put our dresses on (this is her favorite part). When we are ready I tell her it’s time to go and we have some fun on the way (pretending to be certain characters at times, haha). Normally I like to do our shoot towards the evening around 6:30 pm so that it is not so hot or sunny. 

I tell her we are going to a park first (or where ever I want to take the pictures) and then from there she gets to choose where we go afterwards. We love to go to get some boba tea or frozen yogurt.

Once we arrive at the park I let her explore the area and from there the shoot will begin. Every now and then I”ll  have her pose a specific way and normally she doesn’t want to, but eventually she caves in. Our photo session is more “in the moment”  (especially with children). If I force her to pose she hates it and then the remainder of the shoot gets ruined. It’s important to make the session more interactive, like holding hands as we walk,  spinning her around in circles, carrying her, letting her play with my hair, run around together, etc.  It is during those moments that the pictures turn out looking the best! 

2017-08-12_0001 This year we decided to wait and take our photos while in Charleston, SC over the summer.  Lina was not in the mood of taking pictures this day, so even though you see some great pictures it was a struggle.  There was whining in between.

2017-08-12_0002You can see in the picture below her pout-y face that she made when I asked to take a picture with her. Therefore, I try not to ask for a picture together unless I feel she is in a good mood. Most of the time though I don’t even ask. I just hold her and let the photographer capture the moment. So, I recommend letting everything be and not force it.2017-08-12_00032017-08-12_00042017-08-12_00052017-08-12_00062017-08-12_00102017-08-12_00072017-08-12_00082017-08-12_00092017-08-12_00112017-08-12_00122017-08-12_00182017-08-12_00132017-08-12_00142017-08-12_00152017-08-12_0016 I hope you found this helpful as you plan your next photo shoot with your kid/s.  Oh and I almost forgot, make sure and take a few photos by yourself! You deserve it after all your hard work!2017-08-12_0017

Thank you Patrick Hall Photography for the amazing photos! I loved them all. 






  1. Lauren Priori says:

    Great tips on how to prepare your kid for their first photo session! Such important info before a family session.

  2. Kelly says:

    What a fun tradition to do with your daughter. Great tips on getting her ready for pictures. It always seems like the photographers child is the one who hates the camera.

  3. Jen says:

    These are such great tips! It would make any kid look forward to getting their photos taken? Great work as well!

  4. Samantha says:

    These tips are incredible to prepare kids for their session! You are an amazing Dallas family photographer

  5. Great tips for children to be prepared for their photo shoot! I think a lot of the time parents stress out about it and end up ruining a session because they are yelling at their children. Better to go with the flow and make it a really fun special occasion!

  6. […] If you are planning to do a birthday session for your daughter head over to my previous blog on “How to Prepare for a Birthday Cake Smash” or “How to Prepare your Child for their Birthday Photo Session“.  […]

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