Washington DC Children’s Portrait Photography Guide

There’s a special place in my heart for children’s portrait photography. They are young for such a short time, so it is important to capture their sweet faces at each stage while you still can. Childhood is a significant time in life and professional portraits of children are a lasting treasure for parents, grandparents, and other loved ones. 

I truly believe that photography is good for our children, so I love that your children will one day be able to look back on the photos of themselves when they were younger.

If you are eager to invest in the treasure of your children’s portrait, you have come to the right place! First, let me offer a few reasons why studio portrait photography eliminates some of the biggest stressors when it comes to portraits. Then, I’ll share my best tips for a great session. 

Benefits of a Studio Children’s Portrait Photography Session 

My studio is a controlled environment. What I mean by this is that weather, people, and other variables that come with outdoor or public spaces are not a factor at all. This fact alone eliminates so much stress that can come with anticipating a photo shoot with your child. 

You won’t have to worry about your little one falling over and getting her dress dirty or an airplane distracting your little boy right when he was in the perfect pose. Bugs, heat, and rain will not interfere with the comfort or possibility of capturing the perfect shots. Children themselves bring enough of the unknown into the picture, so it is helpful to remove the unknowns that you do have control over. I may be biased, but this is one of the reasons I think studio photography is the greatest! I have a few more benefits of studio photography right here for you. 

I know how to work with children to get those sweet poses. This is one of the great benefits of hiring a professional photographer who is experienced in working with children. I have certain tricks up my sleeve to help your children focus and pose while also enjoying the process. In the same way that a skilled pediatric nurse knows little ways to speak and move and draw the child’s attention in the right direction so she can smoothly take vitals or give a shot, I know ways to help direct a child to get those treasured portraits without the process becoming mayhem. 

If you’re nervous about your child’s behavior or distractability, please don’t worry! I am used to photographing all kinds of children in all kinds of moods, and I am happy to work with them to get you those sweet photos.

4 Tips for a Great Children’s Portrait Session

Now for some of my best tips for you as the parent when it comes to children’s portrait photography:

1. Have your child try on their photoshoot outfit ahead of time. Life can get busy, and it can be all too easy to miss a stain or a rip that may have popped up on that polo shirt or cute little dress you could have sworn looked good as new. Even if you bought a new outfit for your child’s photo shoot, making sure the outfit fits and looks just the way you envision it ahead of time could save you a headache right before you walk out the door. 

You don’t want to find out the hard way that your child had a growth spurt in the past week. Having your child try on their portrait clothes ahead of time can also help prepare them if they’re the kind of kid who needs a lot of mental and emotional prep for something new. This will give you a chance to tell them about their upcoming photoshoot, get them excited about a new experience, and tell them how great they look in their outfit. Another tip that worked well for my daughter is the rule that she couldn’t change her mind once we decided on her outfit. So, no last-minute scuffles or tears the day of the session over outfits. 

 If you need help planning their outfits, check out my what to wear guide here.

2. Bring a change of clothes for your child. Accidents happen, and a plan B outfit is so much better than no plan at all. Having backup clothing with you just in case can turn a rough situation into a smooth one in an instant. Our stress as adults impacts children, and they tend to feed off it in unfavorable ways when it comes to getting their pictures taken, so the more we can remain calm and in a pleasant mood, the better. 

Having a contingency plan for clothes will help you, as the parent, remain calm if something goes amiss and help your child quickly transition from problem to solution.

3. Bring snacks and water. The power of a snack is pretty impressive when you’re in need of a mood booster. When entering a new experience with your child, I find it always helpful to ensure you have some tangible tools. Snacks, either in between shots or as a promised reward at the end, can go a long way toward keeping your child content while posing for their children’s portrait.

I also find that quite often, when a child is cranky or emotional, a drink of water can help immensely. We forget to hydrate as adults, so it should be no surprise when our children are running a little low on fluids and feeling the effects! I keep still and sparkling water in the studio for my clients as well as some munchies. I usually try to avoid offering munchies for kids; however, I can promise a prize from my prize box that usually works well. Remember, after every session, we celebrate with a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie, so we have that to look forward to once we’re all done.

4. Bring your best mood! I mentioned this before, but our children feed off of our moods. One of the best ways to help our sweet little portrait posers is to bring calmness and joy into the situation and leave our stress or irritation outside. You can trust me to bring out the best in your child and capture those portraits you’re dreaming of. 

Washington DC Children’s Photographer 

As a Washington, DC family photographer, I enjoy photographing sweet little ones in my studio, and I would be happy to photograph your children’s portrait! I am also happy to chat through more logistics and offer further reassurances if you are apprehensive about getting your child’s portrait taken. Send me a message here, and I’ll be in touch!

For examples of my work, please follow me on Instagram or Facebook.

Certified Professional Photographer | Lisa Maco Photography, LLC, Washington, DC

Modern Photography for Busy Families

in and around Northwest DC

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Lisa Maco Photography, LLC Washington DC

Lisa Maco Photography, LLC

4400 Greenwich Pkwy NW

Washington, DC 20007