5 Prompts To Use When Working With Children for Family Photography Sessions | Nashville Newborn And Nashville Family Photographer Dolly DeLong Photography

5 prompts to use when working with children for family photography by Nashville family photographer Dolly DeLong Photography

Here are the top 5 prompts I use when working with children for my Nashville family photography sessions. I hope they can help you out and help you see that working with children in photography can be both sweet and hilarious!

1. Don’t You Dare Smile!

When working with children from the ages of 4 to 8 this sentence has always worked for me when I am working with kids who refuse to smile. It’s not like kids HATE smiling, remember, they are in a new environment with you (the photographer). So try to be playful and very kind in your humor.

a family of five are sitting on a white couch and smiling at the camera for their little sister's first birthday party in Nashville by Nashville family photographer Dolly DeLong Photography

2. Hold Hands & Walk

When working with very little children, I have mom and dad hold hands with all the children and walk towards the camera. They do not have to look at me (it actually looks more natural when they are walking and talking for the photo)! I usually do this two times in a row to get a horizontal and vertical photograph, and kids love walking back and forth!

(sometimes you just never know what type of “walking” poses you will get from little ones too, like this one below!) 

family of four are holding hands and walking in a field and laughing together for their family photos in Nashville by Nashville family photographer Dolly DeLong Photography

3.  The Standing Trick

If I am working with babies, I usually have the parent (or guardian/loved one) directly behind me so that the little one will look like they are looking directly at the camera. The natural tendency for parents is to move to the side of the camera because they want to be out of the way. But I actually invite parents/guardians into my little photography bubble because it helps their little one look directly at me!

(as you can see, this also works with one parent snuggling the little one, while the other parent stands directly behind me) 

A mother and young toddler son are sitting on the front porch together and snuggling and smiling for family photos by Nashville Family Photographer Dolly DeLong Photography

4. Please Don’t Stop The Music

If your children have specific music they love listening to, bring that to the photography session and play it. Listening to familiar music can help loosen them up, and it makes for great dance photos throughout the session.

Indian family of four dressed in formal attire for family portraits at Ravenswood Mansion by Nashville Family Photographer Dolly DeLong Photography

5. A Good Fart Joke Goes A Long Way

Most people nowadays have a smartphone. So if you are participating in a family photography session with little ones, download a fart noise app before the session. I promise a good smile will come from listening to either a fart joke or listening to that fart app. These laugh-out-loud photos look more natural and unposed, which I have noticed are my favorite!

(in this sunrise session in downtown Franklin with the sweet Grude family, Lauren (mom) was holding the fart app behind her husband’s back in order to make the younger boys smile-it worked like magic!) 

family of six is standing against a white backdrop wall in downtown franklin Tennessee for family photos by Nashville Family Photographer Dolly DeLong Photography


So there you have it! These are my top five ways I help kids (and sometimes parents) with some creative posing prompts while working with them for their Nashville Family Photography Session (and beyond)! You can (and should) have so much fun at your next family photography session!

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5 prompts to use when working with children for family photography by Nashville family photographer Dolly DeLong Photography

Meet Your Friendly Nashville Family Photographer & Family Photographer Educator

a dad mom and toddler son are all smiling at eachother at a lavender farm by Erin Fox photography in Nashville

Dolly DeLong is a Nashville-based family & personal branding photographer, and also serves as a business systems educator to new creative entrepreneurs (which is a fancy way of saying, she enjoys teaching how to best lay a good foundation for automating your new business).  Dolly loves serving families, and business owners with her timeless, radiant photography.  She loves capturing the joy and emotion in both digital and film photos.

She also has a heart for serving the larger business community. Dolly shares her knowledge of how to automate and set up systems of success for your small business through helpful blog posts, templates, and mini-courses. They’re all centered around the mission to show that even Muggles can become automating Wizards because creating systems IS where the magic happens!

Dolly’s faith and love for her family motivate her to help other business owners find the joy and freedom she’s found in running a successful small business.

Whenever she has a spare moment, she enjoys watching TV (i.e. Survivor), eating way too many sweets, and listening to podcasts while running or walking. To work with Dolly DeLong Photography, please email her at thedollydelong@gmail.com or fill out her contact form here.

To work with Dolly DeLong Photography, click on the link below

Family Photography Blog post banner by Dolly DeLong Photography


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