My top 8 games to play at your family session

My number one top tip for your photoshoot? Just P L A Y with your kids! That is the absolute best way to get natural, happy smiles out of them. 

Family photos with me are essentially one game after another. I’m not going to lie – it’s a bit of a workout. Your photoshoot day is probably a double shot day, ok?!

Here are my 8 favourite games to play at your family session:

  1. The airplane. Ah, it’s a classic for a reason.  What kid doesn’t love being thrown in the air?  It’s a winner with all ages, from babies right through to…well, until you can’t throw them in the air anymore.  This one does come with a hazard warning for younger babies – go gentle or their last feed might reappear.

2. Whisper a secret.  This one is so good to calm down active kids; to bring them in close and grab a moment of stillness.  The whisper either tickles their ear (hello, cute laughs) or makes them smile at the sweet things their mum and dad are saying to them. It works in reverse too: I often ask them to whisper their favourite thing about you.

3. Piggy back (or shoulder) ride.  A kid fave – they just love being up high, and if we need an extra boost, we turn Dad into a bucking bronco. 

4. The eskimo kiss.  Another one to calm the kids down and take a moment of stillness.  This one is so beautiful, especially when it’s backlit or combined with a sun flare. If they’re older, we can get the kids to reciprocate the ‘kiss’ and face you; or if they are younger you snuggle into their cheek.

5. The flip.  If you aren’t getting any smiles with them the right way up, it’s time to flip them! A surefire way to get them laughing their heads off, it’s a simple and effective prompt that works every time.

6. The bear hug. This one is my all time fave for older kids – I send your kids on a ‘secret mission’. They’ll run up behind you, and burst between your shoulders with a big bear hug.  Connection, closeness, and super cute laughs, this one is a big winner.

7. Ring-a-rosie. Mum and dad can stand in the centre and let the kids run rings around them (I mean, that’s pretty standard right?!). Or hold hands and join in the game all together. This is a great one for shy kids because it takes their mind off the camera – especially if we all sing at the top of our lungs!

8. Wave Jumping + Body Surfing.
Shooting at the beach? Bring your swimmers! Seriously, if your happy place is in the ocean, then get in. There’s no better way to end your shoot than with a splash, especially in the summer. You don’t *have* to have your swimmers to do that, obviously. But if you want to get properly wet, then here’s your invitation!

Which one is your fave?!

  1. […] a lot about playing with your kids at sessions, and I’ve written a whole separate blog about the best games to play, but it really is the simplest way to approach your session. Don’t ask your kids to smile; […]

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