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How to Prepare for a Successful Sunset Photo Session with Young Kids

young family in an embrace

Evening photo sessions, particularly during the golden hour just before sunset, offer a magical opportunity to capture stunning family photos. However, preparing for a sunset photo session with young kids requires some extra thought and planning to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here are some tips to help you prepare:

1. Have Your Kids Take A Late Nap or Quiet Time

If your evening session is close to your child’s usual bedtime, consider adjusting their nap schedule. Try to put them down for a slightly later or encouraging a longer nap on the day of the session. If your child will no longer nap, I recommend giving them a quiet afternoon to rest and recharge so they have plenty of energy come session time. Most importantly, keep them awake on the car ride to our session location. We know that half awake children equals very grumpy

2. Eat Dinner Before Your Session

I can't really blame kids for being hangry—this is a big problem for me too! Make sure their fed before our session so they have plenty of energy and are happy.

3. And Bring Snacks

Speaking of which, make sure you pack some snacks just in case. When planning, make sure you don't choose anything that is too messy or that might discolor their face, teeth or clothes.

4. Involve Your Kids When Choosing Outfits

Your kids are going to be more excited if they're involved in the process. When choosing outfits, why not include them? Neutral and soft colors photograph beautifully, but don't forget to let their personality shine through in their clothing choices too. When choosing outfits, you should prioritize ones that are comfortable and allow for movement. Kids are more likely to cooperate and be happy if they are not restricted and uncomfortable. Don't forget to bring layers in case the temperature gets cooler as the sun starts to go down.

4. Pack Their Comfort Items

Young kids might feel more at ease if they have their favorite toy or blanket to hold during their session. These familiar items can help soothe and distract your child if they become restless or anxious. And they'll help your photos feel even more personal to your family during this time of life.

5. Talk About the Session

Prepare your child by talking about the photo session ahead of time. Explain what will happen and how fun it will be. You can make it sound like an exciting adventure or playtime. The more they know what to expect, the more comfortable they will be.

6. Have Realistic Expectations

Understand that kids might not always cooperate perfectly, and that’s okay. The goal is to capture authentic moments, and sometimes the candid shots of kids being themselves turn out to be the most precious. If they need a break, we can take one. Sometimes the best moments happen when we least expect them.

7. Be Positive and Relaxed

Your attitude can greatly influence your child’s mood. Stay positive, relaxed, and go with the flow. If you’re having fun, your kids are more likely to enjoy the experience too.

collage of photographs from a sunset family session


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