How to reduce stress & prepare your children for your session

7 days before your session: Assess the situation.

Decide what you are all going to wear. Make sure your outfit is flattering, comfortable and somewhat coordinated so it really shows that you are a family and you belong together. If you feel like there is anything you need to purchase or borrow from a family member or friend, now is the time to make it happen.

3 days before your session: Tell the kids.

Don’t just drag them out of bed one day to surprise them with a stranger in a field (that would be me!). Tell them about how you are all going to do something very exciting together – you are going for one big wander in the woods with this really nice person (that would be me again) and you are going to have a lot of fun and pick stones and spot beetles and run around and maybe even get a little bit muddy.

Whatever you do, do not pressure your children. Don’t tell them that they have to behave or smile or not get dirty. It will only contribute to the photography session becoming an unpleasant experience rather than something to look forward to. Children need to be allowed to feel like they can relax and be themselves🙂

1 day before your session: Pack the bag.

Make sure to bring non-messy snacks such as fresh fruit and vegetable sticks. Try to avoid crumbly food that will stick to their teeth or clothes. Bring water to drink, some wet-wipes and maybe a spare t-shirt or other change of clothes (just in case!). If your child has a favourite toy or comforter, or something he/she really wants to bring, feel free to bring it along. Same goes for pets🙂

Three Do's & Don'ts

  • Do.. bring natural finger food snacks that won’t get stuck in children’s teeth too much – apples, raisins, carrot sticks, cucumber sticks and dried mango are all good ideas.
  • Do.. encourage and engage in nice play and adventure seeking! I.e. “let’s look at the ducks/find some conkers/pick flowers” or “why don’t we play a game of..?”.
  • Do.. give lots of praise, kisses and cuddles!
  • Don’t.. bring crisps, biscuits, high-sugar sweets (High sugar rush + severe sugar crash = temper tantrums) or mushy fruits such as nectarines and watermelon. These will drip and leave a mark.
  • Don’t.. tell your child that he/she must behave for me, or that he/she looks silly. This creates unnecessary pressure and most often leads to tears in the end.
  • Don’t.. shout at your child or try to force him/her into doing something he/she doesn’t want to do.


Let's meet in a beautiful outdoor location and allow me to capture authentic, in-the-moment photographs of you and your family. Simply get in touch to arrange your free 20-minute phone consultation 🙂 Or, to find out more about family photography sessions, please go view the photoshoot guide.

Covering South West London and Surrey; Putney · Wimbledon · Kingston upon Thames · Richmond upon Thames · Richmond Park · Teddington · St Margarets · Hampton · West Molesley · Surrey Hills · Guildford · Farnham · Leatherhead · Dorking · Godalming


Anna Mathilda

27. Swedish native currently exploring south east England. Self proclaimed female empowerista, mental health warrior & self-love advocate.