I know that preparing for a family photo session takes a lot of work. It can be stressful trying to get multiple young children (and your husband) dressed and out the door on time. No parent wants to have a cranky toddler to top it off. Here are 4 things that you might want to throw in your bag and bring along to your session to help things go more smoothly.

1. Snacks & Water

Children like to eat. If yours are anything like mine, they ask for food every 20 minutes or less. Pack some non-messy snacks. If the session is for 60-minutes, I can almost guarantee that your children will be hungry at some point. Some great non-messy snacks are pretzels, popcorn, nuts, Cheerios, Chex Mix, etc. Avoid things that can melt, such as chocolate. Also avoid things that make hands/fingers sticky or dirty, such as Doritos, Cheetos, lollipops, etc. Lastly, be sure to bring plenty of water for your children. All that snacking will usually result in a thirsty child!

2. Favorite Stuffed Animal, Toy, or Blanket

Children like things that bring them comfort and security, especially if they are in an unfamiliar place with an unfamiliar person. Usually YOU are their security and comfort; however, you may want to be able to pry them out of your arms for a solo picture or two. Bring along something small that they love and is comforting to them. For many children, this may be a small stuffed animal, toy, or blanket. Just make sure it’s something that you don’t mind them being photographed with in the likely event that they refuse to let it go!

3. Hair Brush & Spray Bottle

Let’s be honest, children often look disheveled – mainly because they are like little acrobats and never stop moving. And if we’re being really honest, they don’t care. However, if YOU care about your child’s appearance, please feel free to bring along a hair brush and water spray bottle. This is important if you want that one “perfect” portrait of your child looking beautiful and pulled-together before they start running around again. Also, we live in North Carolina where the humidity is off-the-charts. Most moms know what humidity does to hair, and it usually isn’t pretty. Having that spray bottle can help tame down those fly-aways, at least temporarily!

4. Baby Wipes

Bring plenty of baby wipes, even if your children are a bit beyond the baby age and no longer “need” wipes! Sticky fingers, dirty faces, and boogie noses always seem to randomly appear on picture day. Trust me, this may be the most important item to bring along. You will be thankful to have something with you to easily and quickly wipe faces and hands with.

I hope you find these tips helpful and that they will serve you well at your next family photo session!