Capture Smiles, Not Stress With Sensory-Friendly Dressing Tips for Family Photos

Capturing family photos, including those for special occasions like holidays, is an important tradition for many families. In fact, the average person takes 20 photos per day.


Dressing children for a photo session is challenging, especially for those with sensory sensitivities. Because uncomfortable clothing often leads to distress and uncooperative behaviour, we talked with Julia DeNay, founder of Sense-Ational You, who gave us all the tips and tricks to ensure your child feels as good as they look in all of your photographs throughout the year. 


Know What Causes Sensory Overload

Each child is different, but pay attention to the textures that bother your child, as one may love a fluffy material, while another can’t stand it. Overall, you are more likely to have success with soft knits that don’t restrict movement. Also, tightness and tags are major triggers for a lot of kids. Recognizing these triggers is essential to choose the right outfit. 


Involve Your Child in the Clothing Selection 

It’s tempting to pick everything out on your own and avoid the fight until picture day, but involving them in the process can make all the difference. Just make sure you manage their expectations by explaining the need for a special outfit, while assuring them that their comfort is important to you. Remember, the pictures will turn out better if they are comfortable and happy.


Choose the Right Fabrics 

Soft, natural fabric like cotton and bamboo are more comfortable on sensitive skin, and it’s best to avoid itchy materials like wool. Also, consider the weight and breathability of the fabric, especially if your shoot is somewhere warm. 


Look Out For Designs That Are Not Sensory Friendly

Examine clothing and ensure that it is free from itchy tags, rough seams, and tight elastic bands. The goal is to find an outfit that is festive, but also comfortable for your child. 


Do a Trial Run 

Even if you follow all the guidelines set above, your child might still find something that bothers them, that’s why a trial run is important. A trial run will allow you to see how your child reacts to the outfit in a no-pressure setting. Listen to their feedback and be prepared to make changes if needed. 


Create a Positive Dressing Routine

On the day of the photo shoot, maintain a calm and predictable routine for getting dressed. Keeping everyone calm and treating it like a fun and exciting day will go much smoother than stressing about everyone looking perfect. 


Accessorise Wisely 

If you choose to accessorise, accessorise wisely. Choose items that are lightweight, and don’t overwhelm your child. Opt for soft headbands, clip-on ties while steering clear of heavy jewellery or anything too tight. You can even add fidgets or chewelry as regulating accessories they can have throughout the shoot. 


Make It Fun

It’s easy to let the stress of getting the perfect picture ruin the experience. Do your best to make it fun, and try not to stress over the perfect photo. Let them be themselves and capture more candid moments that help their personalities shine through. You will be surprised what a little joy will bring to your photos! 


Follow these expert tips for a more successful photoshoot.

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