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

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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. 


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!

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.

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.

hire a relaxed photographer (hint; that’s me!)

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.   

That’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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