Family Portraits 101 | Surviving Portraits with the Kiddos | Knoxville Photographer

Hey there!  And, Happy Happy Tuesday!!

I hope Fall is treating you kindly.  We have been super stoked about the fall-back of daylight savings time, enjoying some more sunshine in the mornings and a little more fire-pit moments at night!

So–I’m glad you’ve stopped by this post.  I imagine you’re here for a reason 🙂  If I was a betting gal (which, thankfully I’m not!! lol), I would bet you’re planning family portraits and have some kiddo involved.  Yes??  Alright!!  Well, you’re in the right spot.  I TOTALLY get it- they are the LOVES of your life, the LIGHT of your day, the PURPOSE for which you rise…BUT… how in the world will you make it through family portraits with a teenager, a pre-teen, a toddler, and a baby??!  Well, this is how we rock all the time…And, I promise– we WILL have fun!

Family Portraits with children can seem stressful. But, HOORAY!! It really doesn’t have to be! Here is a little experience-wisdom that can take your portraits experience from a dreaded event to an experience you look forward to each year:

Tip for Planning Family Portraits with Kids in Mind

1) Plan Ahead- Sounds Silly, We ALL know to plan ahead. But, really- plan meals and naps according to your portrait time and the time you will need to start the dressing process. A well rested, non-rushed child makes for a happier kiddo and a much less-stressed parent.

2) Bring a FAVORITE snack! If for no other reason than a smile tactic- having something easy and yummy on hand can prevent meltdowns and bring-on the smiles…yay!!

3) Dress with your environment in mind. If your child is overly hot or really chilly, it can be difficult for them to pay attention and cooperate…Hey…Even I don’t want to smile when I’m frozen 

4) Hire a photographer that has an A+ record with kiddos (hey!!  That’s us!).  We want to have fun with our families and engage children as part of the group immediately.  Its my job to read which child is going to be our energizer bunny and whom may be on the shy side. Connecting with the photographer is equally as important for your kids as it is for you.

5) Does your Toddler have a favorite toy?  Bring it!   Is your pre-teen’s hand glued to their iPhone?  Bring it!   Do earbuds grow out of your teenager’s ears?  Bring it!  Here is the real deal… We will ask them to put down items when it is time for them to be center stage.  In the meantime, happy kids make happy pictures.  Let them bring what drives their smiles… we will work out the rest. #bringit

6) MOST Importantly- Relax. Kids will feel your stress. Portraits are fun and made purely of experiences and memories. Let your kiddos be themselves. And, we will capture exactly that…the awesome little people that they are 

Remember that living fearlessly takes practice.  But, together, we’ve got this!

Sarah Keenan, Coordinator of Chaos | Photographer | Designer

Westland Farms Studio
Sarah Keenan Creative
Boudoir Studio Knoxville
Bringin' the Booth 
Photo Gypsy International

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sarah keenan photographer knoxville asheville wedding family

meet sarah


I have an affinity to all things light and airy.  I love color, sunshine, romance, and laughter.  I love inspirational quotes, meeting new people, flowers, and the idea of finishing a great book.  My go-to drink is coffee.  My outlet is dance.  And, aallllll of my free time is spent with my crew, including our German Shepherd, Gaia.   

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Hi there!  I am Real Estate Photographer, Sarah Keenan.  Raised in East Tennessee and a proud graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and all that offers runs deep for this gal.  Having worked in photography for over 14 years, I am excited to be back home and working along side folks like you.

As a small business owner, I personally understand the time, effort, and dedication that goes into leading a life as an entrepreneur. I thrive on efficiency.  I am on your team.  I am your Knoxville Real Estate Photographer. 

Take a look around.  If you like what you see please give me a shout.  I’d love to serve you and your business goals.