Fluttering Shutter Photography | Momtographer Monday: Getting Kids to Cooperate

Momtographer Monday: Getting Kids to Cooperate

January 02, 2017  •  5 Comments

In the photography world there's something called PCS (Photographers Child Syndrome). This is when our kids aren't cooperative because they're so used to being photographed and are D-O-N-E with us using them as models. It's real, ask my kids. Or just look at some of their pictures:

The Building Museum

Then, by some miracle, they can decide to cooperate and the images can be gorgeous. I'd love to say that this is because I'm just THAT good of a photographer, but in reality it's just because they decided to model for me.

Field Portrait

And that brings us to our first tip:

1) Let them lead you. When you want to take pictures of your kids, most of the time you want to capture them doing something that makes your heart melt: playing tea with their stuffed animals, sleeping while sucking their thumb, sitting NICELY with their siblings. Things that aren't seen everyday but are things that make you say "Awwww". The best way to photograph these moments is to not alert the kids to your presence. This is when it comes in handy to be constantly taking pictures, because they stop noticing it after awhile! If they don't want to sit nicely for your pictures, just let them play and photograph what you can. You'll be amazed at the simple shots that you can get that will still make your mommy heart melt.

Play Day

2) Bribery! This is an old trick that's been around forever because it can work! Bribery works best when you're trying to get them to sit for you for a specific shot. If you do use this trick, make sure that you can follow through. Don't promise to buy them a pony for cooperating if you're not, in a million years, buying them a pony. Your bribe can be something as simple as going to play afterwards or getting a treat. It doesn't have to be anything like getting a pony, but something that they will appreciate and look forward to.

3) Get them involved. Sometimes kids just need to feel like they are a part of something in order to want to participate in it. I will sometimes have kids who are less than enthusiastic about having pictures taken come over and be my assistant. I'll let them hold the camera with me and take pictures. They don't understand HOW to take pictures, but they like to pretend! I will also let the older kids help me to pose their family or siblings. Kids love to do this because it makes them feel important and sometimes they get to be goofy and pose their family in all kinds of strange ways. It relaxes them because then having their picture taken is just something fun to do and something that they get to participate in, rather than being forced to sit through.

4) Make them laugh! When you can get a child to laugh, you'll capture some beautiful moments. Sometimes kids need a joke, sometimes a silly face and sometimes they just need you to be goofy with them. You know your child better than anyone, so when you make them laugh, it's the perfect time to capture some images of them! Even if they're total goofball pictures, they're worth it and I promise that they'll make you smile for years to come.

Silly, laughing goofballs

I hope that these tips help you to take some great pictures of your children today! Do you want me to talk about something specific? Let me know in the comments!


My kids have the same condition, lol! Love these images, I think candids are always the best shots!
Megan @ Memoirs Photography(non-registered)
I love the mixture of silly faces, along with the tips. I feel like, as a mom myself, I am looking to achieve that "perfect" photo of my kids every time, and end up just getting frustrated. Love the reminder to step back and let them be themselves.
Ashley Goverman(non-registered)
Wonderful post! I know I will utilize some of these tips. You never know what you'll get with my kiddos!
Stephanie Wood(non-registered)
Cute! And this is oh so true!! My kids never want to cooperate, lol. Great post!!
Beautiful child photography! I love your tips. I can relate to PCS. I have three with off and on symptoms! It's so important that as a photographer you relate well with kids and I can see that you do.
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