Why it’s ok if your kids “go crazy” during your session

We know it sounds wild, but we actually don’t mind if your kids "run crazy” during our session.

Do we want them bouncing off the walls and throwing rocks or sticks at us? Of course not, but we could handle it if they did (we have kids and nieces and nephews too). One child really did think it was super funny to throw rocks at people, but along with the help of some gentle parents, we redirected that throwing into a river instead - problem solved, cute photos!

The point is, if you truly want to capture yours kids’ personality, we need to embrace whatever that is. Kids go through incredible emotions, especially when placed in new situations with new people. When kids have the space (both physically and time-wise) to travel through them, that’s how we get to their best selves— the genuine smiles and true emotion for their individual personalities to shine through.

Occasionally we will make your kids say cheese, but we also want to play games and have adventures and be fun. This post will explore a few examples of how specific common behaviors can play into getting the candid, fun shots you truly want.

bound and branch fall family photos


Littles under 2 are especially wiggly, and often either only want to be held or don’t want to be held at all and run around like monkeys. In the latter case, we love to play games like one that we call “the elevator dip” -we usually get about 2-3 dips and then it’s over, but that’s all we need!

Some little ones do not want to be held either, so we played the “jump and pull back” game. We asked him to sit on his mom's lap and try to jump out and run away- mom was a tickle monster who was going to try to grab him and pull him back, just for a second, then let him go again.

If we had insisted he “come over here right now and sit still!” he probably would have thrown a fit and made things way worse - but instead, we got these super fun hugs between mother and son!

bound and branch fall family photos


When we’re meeting outside, kids will want to explore their surroundings. By engaging their curiosity and excitement, we get buy in from them that this is fun! This little guy was super shy most of the session, but when we found a creek towards the end, he got really excited and we finally saw his sweet, playful side. Because mom and dad rolled with it instead of freaking out about mud, we got these adorable shots of him in his happy place!

Splashing, grass stains… it’s all par for the course. Sometimes the adventure is what leads to the most beautiful locations, engagement, and expressions, which always outweigh a little dirt in my book.


Siblings have a tendency to egg each other on, and sometimes the rowdiness can get intense. There’s obviously a limit that’s up to the parents to set (calmly) but for one hour, I really don’t care if they’re wild as long as they’re having fun. This crew was pretty rambunctious (also noted that they were stir-crazy from pandemic life and this outing was a big deal) so we created games and interaction that captured their energy, but kept them from hurting each other. :-P

bound and branch chestnut ridge family summer session


This may not seem like a “misbehaving” category, but sometimes parents get frustrated when their kids aren’t doing what they think they “should” be doing. aka, if you’ve paid for a photoshoot and your kid wants to hide behind your dress the whole time.

When the frustration comes out, the kids invert even more, so it’s best to just honor their feelings and let them warm up slowly. Again, forcing them to “cut it out” will be a backwards move, so don’t worry about the timing. We can calmly break the walls down, but capture all the sweet cuddles while we’re at it!

bound and branch chestnut ridge family summer photos


When kids get rowdy, make fart noises, jump on a dirt pile, or won’t stop with the aggressive surprise tickles… we’re going to just play it cool for this hour (and it’s probably a good idea while you’re all getting ready and in the car, too!) so everybody can just have fun and be in a good mood.

If you like a photographer who will also play it cool and be totally fine engaging in a stick sword fight...

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Ready for a silly and sweet family photography session? Book with us in the WNY area or check our more info on our session experience and pricing at