How to Prevent Your Baby from Being Cranky at a Photoshoot

As important as it is to have all the pieces, like set design and wardrobe, in place for your session, it’s just as essential to have a plan for how to prevent your baby from being cranky at a photoshoot. We all know that sometimes, babies will be babies and they’ll just cry—and that’s totally okay! We’ve had experience with babies of all temperaments and are ready to work with you to get those coveted shots. And honestly, sometimes those moments that arise from a baby being cranky make for some great photos too—see examples below with babies being held and comforted, babies falling asleep, and just capturing the reality of having a baby with strong emotions. But there are some things you can do to increase the likelihood that we’ll have a cooperative baby on our hands:

1. Plan Around Nap Times

We can’t stress this one enough—a rested baby is much more likely to be a happy baby! Babies’ sleep needs and nap schedules change a lot in the first year, but we recommend doing what you can to make sure that your baby won’t be overtired during their photoshoot. For instance, a lot of older infants take their best nap in the morning, while their afternoon nap can be either short or non-existent. If that is the case, you might want to schedule their photoshoot right after the morning nap, as opposed to after the second nap (since babies do tend to get more tired toward the end of the day anyway). Sometimes though, our best-laid plans can get sidetracked—Baby Jonah was jetlagged during his dohl shoot (see more in DIY Korean First Birthday Party in Los Angeles), so he nodded off right in the middle of our session! We rolled with the punches and got some adorable sleeping photos, so while this worked out as a plan B, it’s generally best to have a plan A that accounts for a well-rested baby.  

2. Bring Snacks and Toys

Food is a great motivator (for adults as well as kids!), so if your baby is old enough, having a few favorite snacks on hand can be an easy way to get them to stay still. If your baby is not snacking yet, we’d recommend bringing some toys—a few favorites, as well as a one or two new ones, since babies are interested in novel things. And if neither of those do the trick, we’ll all be armed with our silly faces and singing voices—anything to get that smile!

3. Have a Good Snuggle

There are times when babies just need a good cuddle, and we want you to feel free to do that during your session. Parents sometimes get caught in the moment trying to get their baby to do all the poses we’ve planned out, but it’s okay to just pause, take the time to snuggle your baby, and bring the calm energy back for everyone. Babies cry, and that’s normal and okay—we would never want our clients to feel apologetic about comforting their babies! You’re doing great, and those candid snuggles will make for some beautiful photos.

You can have all the plans in place to prevent your baby from being cranky at a photoshoot, and it might all work out wonderfully or it might not, but it’s all okay! We hope this post helps to ease your worries a bit with a few actionable steps and some encouragement. We’re always open to doing what we can to make your baby’s photoshoot a special one—reach out to us today!