Oneonta, Cooperstown + Delhi, NY Family & Newborn Photography.  Capturing your family's connection, love, joy and details through story-telling imagery.

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Children, Family, Lifestyle

August 12, 2020


When I tell families that our session will be around sunset, I know it can cause some initial stress. I get you want nothing to do with cranky kiddos near bedtime! As a mom of a 7 and 3 year old (the youngest who doesn’t nap anymore!) when I say I get it, I truly do. But as a photographer, I am here to tell you it will be totally worth it to keep the kids up for that magical golden sunset. So here are some tips to ease those worries.

1. Push that nap-time! Many days getting your little one to nap “on-time” is a struggle. Well on the day of your family session, don’t worry if its a little later. Adjusting nap time to 30-60 minutes past their normal time will give more flexibility in the evening. They’ll be happier well into the evening hours. If your toddler is like mine and gave up naps early on, but they still nap on that long car ride, go for an afternoon ride. Chances are they’ll fall asleep. Usually this would make my son not go to bed until after 10pm, but for family photos it can be embraced!

Oneonta Family Photographer, Family at sunsetUpstate NY Family Photographer, family exploring at sunset2. Avoid a late nap though Some days it’s completely out of our control when a nap happens. I get that. If your little one tends to wake up grumpy from a car nap though, and it’s likely they will fall asleep on the way to the session, I’d suggest giving your self a little more time to get to our session. That way you’ll arrive early and they’ll have time to slowly wake up before taking their photo. If they’re a little sleepy from what ever nap they took/didn’t take, don’t worry. Capturing the sleepy more cuddly side is amazing for tender and detail shots too.Oneonta Family Photographer, family at field during sunset snuggling3. Plan a low key day Often in the summer we’ve gone to the pool, had a cookout with family, and by sunset everyone’s at their grumpiest. Keeping the day mostly calm makes sure that kids (and adults!) aren’t overtired by the evening. Working in some quiet play activities like puzzles, painting, play-dough, are all good calming activities for photo day.Cooperstown family photographer, Dad and toddler girl cuddling at sunsetPhotographer Upstate NY, mom and dad together at field at sunset4. Bring a snack or treat I dislike using a bribe during sessions because it can go horribly wrong. If they know before hand that they’re going to get something, it can actually make behaviors worse I’ve found. Especially if it’s an ultimatum; do you want ice cream soon? Well you better smile now! Instead, if you notice that they’re getting a little crabby and tired, having a little pick-me-up snack can help them feel better and enjoy the rest of your session. Fruit snacks or a snack they like and look forward to can help, just avoid chocolate 😉  Delhi NY Family Photographer, Dad and daughter playing together in field at sunset5. Hire a relaxed photographer In my experience, toddlers do not like to sit still for long! They want to be running, exploring, playing chase, and getting messy. My sessions are laid back and allow for all the playing they need. We get those cuddly, sitting down images usually first when they are the happiest, and then let them break free! I keep shooting through all of it, and often it is through play that the real magic happens.   Upstate Ny Family Photographer, mom and daughter playing in field at sunsetOneonta NY Family Photographer, little girl exploringPhotographer Oneonta NY, Dad and daughter exploringThat’s it! I hope those tips were helpful. If you’re ready to spend time together at sunset before the summer is over, I’d love to chat!



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