How to Keep Kids Happy During Sunset Family Sessions | Boston Family Photographer

My best tips for keeping kids happy and engaged during a family photo session in Greater Boston.

As a Boston family photographer, I understand that these late spring sunsets can be difficult for little ones. Luckily, by now you’ve read my post, How to Handle Early Bedtimes and Late Sunsets, so you’ve prepared for your session ahead of time.

But what happens once you get to the session?

Even with a long nap, kiddos sometimes get grumpy as the sun gets closer to setting. Luckily, I have a few tricks up my sleeve that will keep them going for the entire session! It has a lot to do with one little word: FUN.

Stay Connected

Remember that this is a special time for your children. They get to be with you without any distractions! Take this opportunity to shower them with attention and love. Boston family photographer Joy LeDuc.

It’s important to remember that this is a special time for all of you. An hour without distractions. No phones, no televisions, no obligations. That, in itself, is a big and exciting prospect for kiddos!

Gone are the days of boring posed family portraits. I encourage movement and play during family sessions in order to keep kids engaged and to capture memories that will transport you back to these special moments down the road.
Ignore the camera and connect with your kids. I’ll put you in beautiful light, but the magic comes in the interactions between your family members. Boston outdoor photo locations. Lifestyle photography.

Engage with your kids. Make them laugh, tickle them, ask them for snuggles. Let them tell you their best jokes. Ask them about the things that they’re into. This is a time for them to feel as super special as they are.



Want the most naturally beautiful photos of your family? Be prepared to move! I’ll guide you through flattering and beautiful movements that will also keep your kiddos entertained.

They’ll get to be leaders, walking you over paths and bridges.

It’s time to use our imaginations! I’ll ask your kids to be the leaders, taking you on an adventure. Crossing bridges, streams, flying into the trees. Massachusetts outdoor locations are always great spots for play time!

They might be little warriors and you might be a dragon!

Or maybe they’ll fly in the air like planes.

Keep the play time up and your kiddos will know that family photo time is a special time for extra fun! Boston family photography. Natural light lifestyle portraits. Golden hour sessions.

This is where the real emotions come out. And that’s where the magic is.

Get Them Excited About Rewards

Yes, rewards! You’ll all deserve one for the preparation and cooperation it takes to capture these sweet family portraits. Talking about them during the shoot is a really good way to keep kids excited right up until the end. Acton Arboretum family photos in Greater Boston.

Yes, that means bribery! During this session, we talked A LOT about their trip to the new micro creamery (the fancy new term for “ice cream shop”) in Acton.

We talked about what flavors everyone would get.

Cone or cup?

Sprinkles? Chocolate chips? Fudge? Strawberries?

We will draw out this fantasy trip all the way to the end, when finally you’ll get to go on and actually LIVE THE DREAM and get those ice cream cones!


Joy LeDuc is a Boston photographer focused on creating stress-free (and more importantly, fun!) portrait experiences to families in New England and beyond.