Ok, so you booked your photography session, paid your deposit, picked a date...now what? Today I'm sharing five tips to prep and most of all actually enjoy your family photography session.
1. The most important thing you can do is RELAX.
I get it. That's easier said than done. Start with giving yourself enough time to get ready. Mom, I'm talking to you- give YOURSELF enough time. I know you have to get all the kids ready too. Have all of your outfits ready beforehand- I'll talk about that later. Make sure everyone is well rested and fed.
Let's talk about how you've told everyone about the session. If you threaten the kids that they 'have to smile for the camera or else,' they might think I'm some super scary lady that will get mad if they don't smile right. For little ones, it's best to say something like, "We are going to go play while Mrs. Sarah takes some pictures us!"
Dads- please for the love of everything, support your wife in the fact that she wants beautiful photos of her family. Be the family cheerleader. I am capturing your family's legacy for you. You want your family to look back at these photos years from now and many more years with their own children.
Just have fun. Relax and enjoy this distraction- free time with your family.
2. Lower your expectations.
Really I mean it. Especially if you have little kids, you know this applies to almost all aspects of your life. Don't yell or threaten your kids. If you do, everyone gets frazzled.
Kids are kids and they just want to have fun. Just relax if they act like maniacs. It's ok! I don't expect any child to act like an angel ever, and you never know what I see from the other side of the camera while your super cute monkeys run in circles around you. Happy kids equates to happy photos. As a former teacher, I've truly seen it all and I can handle it. If they get fussy, we can take a break. Pick them up and snuggle. Beware, I will capture that too, and they are always some of my favorites.
3. Leave the directing the kids up to the photographer.
Please tell your children to be good listeners, but please leave it at that. I will direct from there. We will play games, tell secrets, run, and play. I do give you complete permission to play with your kids while I snap away. We will take a few "everyone look at me" photos, so you can send them to Aunt Karen and whoever else. The rest of the time, we will joke, laugh, tickle, snuggle. Spin those kids around and tell them why you love them. Showing your true colors as a family will allow me to better capture your love for one another.
4. Leave the cheese for the crackers.
Please leave that "cheeeeeese" at home. You don't need to tell your kids to smile for me; I will capture natural interactions and expressions. Don't worry, your session isn't completely unposed. I will direct you to a certain position and your job is to look lovingly at your family. Help me to create more candid shots by playing and talking with your children. Those authentic expressions come from looking at your family, not me. I will move around you guys and capture a variety of different images.
5. Prep your clothes several days before the shoot.
I can write a whole blog post about wardrobe, and I will, but I'll give you the basics real quick. Don't wait until the day of to plan outfits. That will just stress you out! Also don't feel like you need to go out and buy all new things, so start with what you have in your closets first. The key is to wear complimentary colors, not all matching. Everyone in a plain white shirt makes everybody look washed out. I tell everyone to pick two main colors and go from there. Accessories are great too! Scarves, suspenders, bows, jackets, boots, bowties, hats. It's all great and adds interest to your images.
One more thing- Think about the decor in your house too if there is any chance you’ll be hanging a large portrait on the wall somewhere. You may not want to wear burnt orange if everything in your house is more neutral. It’s just something to think about.
I lied, one more thing, and it's actually the most important. Be comfortable and be you. I don't want your images to be about your clothes. In fact, I don't want them to be about your clothes at all, but a well thought out wardrobe only adds to your family's connection.
The moral of the story here is to relax and have fun. Family photos should not be stressful for anyone. Once you're done, the only thing left is to enjoy your images!
Thank you for stopping by my blog! You can see more of my family work by clicking on my Family Portfolio. Are you looking for a DFW Photographer? I'm now booking fall sessions. I would love to meet your family and capture your memories. To book a session, contact me here. I look forward to meeting you!