Child and family session tips and ideas

Whether it is a cake smash, fruit bath or just a run around the beach, kids sessions are fast and fun!

Try to prepare your little one(s) for the shoot in the following ways;

Cake smash: introduce them to cake! Get them to play with it and encourage them to squish it, you would be surprised at the number of babies who do not want to touch their cake.

Fruit / Milk / Bubble bath: most babies love a bath, but if yours is used to showers try giving them a bath in a tub for a few days before their session.

What to wear? 

Dress your child in clothes that reflect their personalities, try not to make them all "matchy matchy", if your child is happy and comfortable in their clothes their photos will reflect that.

Please answer my questionnaire and tell me about your kids...who is shy? who is outgoing? what are their hobbies, their passions? Bring their lovies or favourite toy, but don't bring bribes...instead make this a family event...go to the park or for a meal afterwards...make the photo session a fun part of a fun day.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly...don't expect smiles.

We all love photos of our children smiling, and if it happens that is great, but many children are deep thinkers or curious individuals...I want to capture your child's unique spirit. You print that and put it on the wall and the self esteem payoff is immense!

Depending on the type of session we have organised, we will meet at a location, I will arrive at your home or you will come to my studio. 

We will have a chat to introduce ourselves and allow your child to get used to me, I will explain every step to you and your child(ren). Depending on the location and the age of the child we may get them to run around a little first to settle their energy a bit. I will organise myself during this time - especially if I am in your home and have props to set up.

As I always say, smiles are not mandatory, they are nice - but not all people are smiley. I will capture your child's authentic self. We will have beautiful photos. 

I will guide your child into poses in a gentle way, as well as capturing self posed images. I will always be calm, gentle and quiet with your little one.

The session will last 30 minutes to an hour depending on how long it takes for us to get a good range of images.

I will then let you know what happens next.


Family sessions are usually held outdoors on a location like the beach, the bush or botanical gardens in the golden hour before sunset. Think about the places your family has fun and let me know - some cool secret places like the Henley cheese factory, or some of the buildings down in the harbour precinct are fun too.

Please ensure that you have completed my questionnaire, tell me who they are, what they like and some of their personality traits. I want to get to know you before I even meet you!

As far as clothing choices go - this is up to you. Co-ordinating but not matching is best, ensure everyone is comfortable in their clothing, or they won't be comfortable in their photos. Here is a link to a Pinterest search with lots of advice on family photo shoot outfits. Bring hairbrushes, wipes and a change of clothes for littlies.

Compliance - your family may not be happy about a photo shoot, teens can be self-conscious, littles can have tantrums...relax...let me help your family to connect with one another so that we can capture some stunning, emotional, loving shots. 

As I said above - the most important thing...don't expect smiles, expect honest emotion, expect your children to be who they are, expect me to capture your authentic love for one another.

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Copyright 2019 Justine Turner

Dunedin | 021 834810 |