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This family photo session at Disneyland was so, so great.  I knew that taking pictures with 5 kids would have it’s challenges, and I gotta say — nothing feels better than facing the challenge and not only getting the photos you hoped for, but having a good time in the process.

I’ve really learned over the years that you can’t force kids to cooperate.  It has saved me a lot of frustration just going in knowing that there are some who love taking pictures and some who don’t.  And some who love taking pictures for anyone but me.  And that’s okay.  As a photographer, I don’t want too many forced smiles anyway.  So my goal is the keep the session light and fun no matter what.  If that means playing tag or hide-and-seek or teaching them a new handshake or whatever — I just do it.  I let them warm up.  And some kids still go back and forth, even after I think I’ve got them on the hook.  Sometimes that means we don’t get that magical family photo right in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, but we might get a magical family photo somewhere totally random.  That works too.  Regardless, I stay patient, and mostly try to keep the parents from worrying.

This parenting team was so supportive and relaxed during the session, it really helped the kids stay relaxed too.  And that lets me get the job done, silly handshakes and all!  In fact, after doing this for so many years, taking photos of 5 little kids doesn’t really feel like a challenge at all anymore.  It’s just another excuse to be a goofball and have some fun at work.