How to keep children authentic during family sessions

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Today’s feature is from Cadence Feeley.

Cadence says:

“Jaymie and her family live in upcountry Maui, so they decided to do their session near home. Spending time with Jaymie, Mike, and Wesley was a dream — we played disc golf at the Poli Poli course, and explored the forest and fields at sunset.

On our way down the mountain, I couldn’t help but pull over at a gorgeous Jacaranda Tree on Kula Highway for a few more shots. If anyone has experienced Kula when these amazing trees go off, it is unexplainable – bursts of vibrant purple that seem to come from another planet!

I’m always so grateful for adventurous families. Mahalo to the Harrison’s!”

Cadence’s Photography Tip:

Wesley was full of energy — not unlike many other little ones around his age! Here are some tips and tricks I use to keep children engaged and authentic during family sessions:

1. Move around. Don’t spend too much time in one position. By keeping things moving quickly and exploring the area you are shooting in, little ones will not get restless and stiff! They will be their wild and free selves.

2. Let them play. Taking quick breaks makes a huge difference. I let the little ones chill while I get portraits of mom and dad, and after a couple of minutes they want to be back in the center of attention — sometimes they even sneak back in the shot when we see how much fun we’re having!

3. Get down on their level. I always squat down when talking to kids, and sometimes whisper to let them feel like they are in on a secret! This helps me get to know a few things about them that help me photograph their true essence.

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Cadence used a Canon 5D Mark III (affiliate link) with a Canon 50mm 1.2 lens (affiliate link) and a Canon 35mm 1.4 lens (affiliate link) to capture these images.

Cadence Feeley is a Maui Portrait photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Working with Children.


Cadence, unlike a lot of us, doesn’t have to travel too far for an exotic location (being she lives in Hawaii!).

If you’re thinking about getting into travel photography though so you can take awesome pics of your own in crazy cool locals, check out this article here about travel photography.

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