Games to Play to Engage Children

Finding treasure on the beach

Today’s feature is from .

Angela says:

“This photo session was great because I was able to get a lot of candids of the family enjoying Maui. I am always very conscious of the ocean and the amazing energy it brings to my photo sessions, and letting kids play in the surf aways brings out great candids!”

Angela’s Photography Tip:

This sweet family came all the way to Maui from Texas. To celebrate their time together as a family, they booked me for a session on the beach. It was a morning session, which is always best for young children as they are typically happy in the mornings.

There were three children ranging from ages 8 to 3, which is a pretty large age gap maturity-wise. So I knew this session would be all about playing games.

I immediately got the oldest, Ava, to be my assistant. She was going to help me with the younger ones because she was an expert with her younger siblings. Even if that meant calling her over before a posed shot to “tell her a secret”–which was just when I said “THREE!” she would give them a tickle!

The girls had long dresses, so I asked them to pretend they were Elsa from Disney’s “Frozen” and twirl around int he surf, which they loved. So they pretended to be princesses–and they took it hook, line, and sinker, and were easily won over by the idea.

The little boy, Pierce, was a different bundle of energy. He wanted to run, jump, climb and look for treasure!

So, naturally, we were monkeys! We had contests about how high we could jump, how fast we could run, and how high we could climb (but don’t worry, the branch wasn’t that far off the ground). We even found a coconut treasure!

As soon as the kids were playing, the parents were able to loosen up too. And before I knew it, the whole family was playing in the surf and having fun. It made for the absolute best candid session I have had!

Even mom got her dress wet in the surf!
Running to try the jump again! "This time I can jump HIGHER!" she said.
Jumping siblings
Letting the surf twirl her dress
Pierce pretended to be a monkey and climb the tree!

Angela used a Nikon D800e with a Nikkor 85mm 1.4 lens and a Nikkor 24-70mm 2.8 lens to capture these images.

Angela Nelson is a Maui Portrait and Wedding photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Working with Children.


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