Bring Out the Fun! Three Games I Play During Family Photo Sessions

Part 1

Family photography sessions can be a tricky business.  It’s a challenge to immediately make a connection to your subjects, make everyone feel comfortable, and then facilitate genuine interactions (that are truly happy!) in a one hour or so time span. After seven years in a classroom educating children and ten years as a professional photographer, I have found that EVERYONE loves games and they are an easy way to loosen my families up. I use games and prompts to help choreograph my sessions so that I have joyful and genuine candid images that are meaningful to clients and satisfy my artistic vision.   Below are three favorite games and prompts I love to use during family sessions.

Pass the Tickle (for families with children ages 2-10) – What is different about this game is the concept of passing the tickle, so that children have the opportunity to tickle their parents and siblings.  Instead of just telling the parents to randomly tickle their children (which often results in turtlenecks and children hiding), I instruct the family to start at one end with the tickle and then tickle right down the row.  This way I can predict the family’s reactions a bit more and plan my composition accordingly.

Look at the Person Who (for families ages 5 and on up) – I especially love this game when photographing all adults.  It’s a fun way to get to know your clients and help everyone loosen up and look at each other with BIG smiles.  I simply say, “On the count of three, I want you to look at the person who……” My prompts are things like best/worst cook in the family, takes the longest in the bathroom, is the most ornery, etc.  

The Word Association Game (kids ages 10 – 21) – I like to play this game with my high school seniors.  I give them a word, and they tell me the first thing that comes to their mind.  I often say mundane words like socks, math, broccoli, etc. and then will throw in boyfriend/girlfriend or another phrase that I predict will make them smile.  Their answers are usually pretty funny and it’s a silly method for us to connect and get comfortable with each other quickly.

Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *


FAQs for Clients

1.) What types of Photography do you offer?


I specialize in candid family, child and high school senior portraits in the Oklahoma City and the Dallas metroplexes. I also photograph events, sports and headshots.


2.) What location will we use?


I am primarily an on-location natural light photographer. I will assist you in determining a beautiful and scenic location for our session.


3.) What time of day do you book sessions?


Session are booked approximately 1.5 -2 hours prior to sunset or within an hour of sunrise.


4.) What do we wear?


I can most definitely help you with that! After ten years of photographing clients, I have learned what photographs well and what doesn't. Upon booking a session with me, I am happy to connect you with some tried and true styling tips. I will also help you with your specific outfit choices.


5.) My kids are WILD. Can you handle it?


Yep! I sure can! Aside from my own "spirited" children, I was an elementary school teacher for seven years. Not even the grumpiest dad or emotional teen scares me :). Just show up ready to have fun + love on your people. I will do the rest!

6.) Do you travel?


I LOVE to travel with clients! I have been across the globe photographing some amazing families. Booking a travel session with me is way more affordable than you think - plus I provide you with much more than just a standard session. Click on my travel portfolio to see images from the beach, Canada, Bali, New York City and more!


7.) How much do you charge?


Photo sessions are $950 plus state sales tax. This includes at least 65+ digital images, each carefully hand edited by Missy.

Contact Missy

Hi there, thanks for stopping by! Fill out the form below to tell me a little more about you. I will get back to you as soon as possible.


Form submitted successfully, thank you.Error submitting form, please try again.

Missy Mayo Photography

Serving OKC, Dallas & Beyond