How to De-Stress Your Family Photo Session

This is a guest post from Lacy, a professional photographer, blogger, & mom. She is sharing how to have a stress free family session. You can read more from Lacy on Indy Mompreneurs here and at

Stress Free Family Photo Tips

Family pictures are great – they help you create and remember fond memories of your loving family, document milestones, & so much more! However, this day can get very stressful, and I want to ensure this doesn’t happen. If you’re stressed it will show, and I want your photos to be carefree. Here are some tips you can use on picture day to help you relax:


Take some deep breaths. Deep breathing is a common relaxation method. It can quickly calm your stress level and you can do it anywhere. Breathe in through your nose and exhale through your mouth, counting slowly in your head while letting it all out. I know kids can get crazy & partners unhappy but remember this is all about capturing smiling happy moments. For most people getting their photo taken is hard. We all have insecurities, stresses, and worries. Let your photographer know ahead of time what those are and they can help you through the session.


Laughter is a great way to release tension. It will also help your family relax to get some genuine smiles. Have everyone pretend to laugh and they will feel so ridiculous that they will actually laugh. Sometimes I will as one of the kids to tell their favorite joke. Kids under 5 always have the best jokes. My favorite is to say something silly like “PICKLES” instead of “cheese” This will ease everyone into relaxation mode.


Count down slowly (in your head) from 10. Take a deep breath between each number. If you’re still feeling super stressed, start the process over, back at 10. Kids can find this calming as well and turn it into a game. This game unbeknownst to the kids, can make for great candid photos!

Stress Free Family Photo Tips


Distract yourself or your kids. If your family isn’t cooperating and you are getting stressed, suggest that you play a game or take a walk. This will let some of the energy out and also give you some good interacting photos. I know my clients always love the walking together hand-in-hand photos! Prior to your session, think of a short game that your family would enjoy – it could be something like duck, duck, goose, or dancing to head, shoulders, knees, and toes, etc.


Trace your hand. Take your finger and trace a figure eight on the palm of your opposite hand. This helps relieve stress and muscle tension. Children also find this relaxing and will typically snuggle into the parent. To your photographer, this will look like just amazing snuggle time. These moments are by far my absolute favorite!


Give lots of XOXOs. Not only will these make for cute poses, but one of the most effective ways to relieve stress is to hug someone or to kiss them. Gather your family in a big group hug, or give your husband a kiss and let your worries melt away. Bring your favorite family quilt or blanket to snuggle on. See what kiddo can give the biggest best hug.

These are the moments everyone needs to have.
Stress Free Family Photo Tips

I'm a local full-time Photographer, Mom, & Wife. You can find me shooting in my studio in Brownsburg, traveling to all my amazing clients all over the midwest, editing in the best local coffee shops, mentoring local budding photog's, or spending time with my amazing geeky friends. Find out more about me

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