As a mom of 5, I know how important family photos are! I also know they can be stressful! Coordinating outfits, time schedules, location options, fussy babies, independent toddlers, and husbands who have been waiting all year for this (sense the sarcasm on that last one). Honestly, preparing for your family session will help simplify and put your mind at ease before stepping in front of the camera.
I know that you’ve invested in your photos and you want them to come out amazing! I get that. Trust me. So, I’ve assembled some of my best tips in this blog for you so you don’t have to stress about preparing for your family session. Plan for these things ahead of time and have everyone looking forward to your session rather than stressing out about it!
Outfits: a few main ‘What to wear’ tips can be found here. Check below for some family outfit inspiration photos and scroll through my family board on Pinterest to get some more ideas! Also, remember these main points as you start coordinating outfits: •Decide on a color scheme: 3-4 coordinating colors is plenty •Have 1 simple soft pattern- maybe two if you are a large group- making sure those patterns align with your colors and aren’t overly loud or extravagant. •Avoid direct matching. Buying the same outfit for everyone isn’t going to look awesome. Now, if if you have a mom/daughter or two little girls/boys with the same outfit, totally fine . . . totally adorable. But not everyone, trust my judgement here, say it with me. NO MATCHY MACTHY. •Take your background into consideration: Are you In a field where there is already lots of green? Fall trees behind you? White snowy mountains? We don’t want you to camouflage in.
Present over perfect: I mean this with every fiber of my being. If you hear nothing else in this blog, hear this please! Your children are still children during your session. They will smile for some and almost certainly run around occasionally. They will want to play and explore, ask for a snack 25x, and make goofy faces, and THAT IS OKAY. The goal is not to have 20 of the same happy perfectly smiling portrait. The goal is to capture your family as they are, and there will be joyful happy ones in there! I’ve photographed literally hundreds of families and have always had at least one happy ‘perfect’ portrait. Don’t let this stress you out. Please!
Rewards: This is specifically for families with small children. I highly suggest making photo night an extra fun experience by doing something fun afterwards- go out for dinner, grab some ice cream, hit the park on the way home. If the kids know this is their reward for listening, you’ll be surprised how eager they are to smile and not throw fits. Bonus, if you can make this an annual thing that they look forward to!
Season: Please keep the season in mind. If it is 12 degrees outside, putting your toddler in that gorgeous spring dress you’ve been dying for her to wear is not ideal. She’s going to be cold and cranky (speaking from experience). This may seem obvious but necessary to mention.
Plan Ahead: Plan around work schedules, naps, etc . . . Set yourself and your family up for success by choosing a time that everyone is at their best. When you show up to your photo session in a state of frustration it makes it hard to get in a happy, relaxed, excited state of mind. Bearing in mind, that frequently, the time of the session can only be adjusted so much, to ensure the best lighting possible. Coordinate your schedules that day in advance to allow for any changes or adjustments.
Be honest: If you have a side you prefer, are self conscious about something, or need extra guidance at times, please say something. I won’t know unless you communicate it. And I do want to know!
Truthfully, your experience is extremely important to me! The best testimonies are when families tell me how much fun they had and how they look forward to them next year! I hope hearing some tips on preparing for your family session was helpful. Recent photos of one my favorite family session’s this spring. You can see more of this gallery here.