I get a lot of questions when a family is interested in booking a family session. For the moms out there, including myself, it is a ton of work and pretty stressful. I’m a researcher by nature, so I have spent tons of hours on how to do it! With that in mind, I decided to write out five tips for preparing for your family session. After hearing all the stories, this is my best advice:
Choose your outfits in advance.
I am totally guilty of this myself and guarantee this will create stress and possibly tears on the day of your session. I always search Pinterest to get ideas but recommend staying in the neutral family and adding a pop of color. For example, I love white and grey so I will add in a coral or navy. For our family session this year we chose to add navy and red to our neutrals. Show your personality but remember you want to hang it in your house.
Make sure your children have eaten and slept.
This is huge. If your child, or even husband, is tired or hungry this will result in a very painful session experience. I try to plan our session around these two items, but it’s essential for you to plan ahead too.
Bribing and “Cheese”
Please leave your snacks and candy in the car. From experience the act of bribing kids during a session with food results in an even less cooperative child. Their mind turns to the snack, and they don’t care about anything else. The same goes for asking them to say “cheese” – fake smiles are just that, and I promise we can make them smile naturally!*Disclaimer: I am not trying to tell you how to parent, in the end, do what is best for your family!
You don’t have to look at the camera.
This one is hard! It seems silly that a photographer would say, “don’t look at me”! I promise some of my client’s favorite photos are ones where no one is looking at the camera. I say this all the time, but my primary mission is to show your family connection, and that means looking at each other!
Have fun as a family.
This should be the easiest tip to tackle. I want you to come and play with your kids – tickle them, throw them in the air, or chase them around a tree. The more fun we all have, the better your photos will be.
So, there you have it! My five best tips for a smooth, relaxed family session. Maybe this will help you as you plan for your next shoot! If not, at least we tried!