8 tips for amazing family photos!
After 28 years and 1000's of sessions photographed, I can say every session is unique. I’ve learned what makes a session a success. Here are my top 8 tips of advice for you
1) Trust your photographer
You chose your photographer because they resonate with you. Trust that your experience and images are what's most important to them. When we know that you trust us we will go above and beyond your expectations to capture amazing memories.
The very first thing I tell every client is, simply, to have a good time and leave the details to me. The day of the session may bring some anxiety, understood, this means the world to you! Just know that you can let go and not have to worry, just trust and leave the details to me.
2) Plan ahead
Before the shoot is scheduled, get everything in order. Set the outfits you’ll be wearing aside so nothing accidentally ends up in the washing machine. Pack some snacks the day before so you can grab and go without having to scramble at the last minute. And before the day of the session, take some time to become acquainted with the place you’ve chosen. Even if it’s a spot that has a lot of meaning for your family, scoping it out in advance will alert you of any issues (is that gazebo where you had your first date under construction?), will familiarize young children with the space beforehand so they’re not overwhelmed.
3) Focus on the experience.
The best pictures come with movement, a true sense of togetherness, and genuine emotion. It’s not easy to do all of that when you have to think of a million little things. That's why you hired a professional!
4) Wear comfortable clothes and shoes.
This goes for every member of the family. If an outfit looks great, but it’s not comfortable during the first five minutes you’re wearing it, leave it at home. We’ll be walking around a bit, maybe some running, rolling around on the ground… In other words, we’ll be spending a lot of time on our feet, so keeping a wardrobe that is comfortable makes everyone a whole lot happier.
5) Bring a reward
If you have younger children bring along a small bribe. (but don't tell them until the end) This may not be how you raise your children, and I understand, but consider it for just one day. It can make all the difference. A lot of the pictures we’re going to take will be in-the-moment shots of your family enjoying a lovely day, but for those posed portraits? A treat is always helpful.
6) Dress for the weather.
The weather can be a little unpredictable during certain times of year, so check the forecast and come prepared (of course if it’s raining, we’ll just reschedule). If there’s even the slightest chance of cold, pack an extra sweater, some socks, a hairbrush, jackets and scarves. In the summer, make sure to come with sunscreen and some bug repellent. Always better to be safe. Keep everything in the car so you have them, just in case.
7) Kids will be kids.
Family photographers have seen it all, and that's not a bad thing. Sometimes you get the best images just because of a mood swing. Just roll with it, the less stress you have the better off the kids are. They pick up on it, so we just let kids be kids!
For a smoother session, make sure your child eats a healthy meal right before. Something substantial will keep them focused, and you won’t have to worry about any rumbling tummies.
8) Don’t try to fit too many things in
Focus on the experience. It's easy to get distracted by all the outfits you would love the children photographed in (some are very sentimental), Similarly, you might have some amazing ideas about locations, or a few different Pinterest-inspired “looks” you want to try.
In all of this, try not to spread yourself too thin. Sticking with a minimal amount of looks maximizes your time and results in a much wider selection of images than if half the time is spent changing things up. When in doubt, ask your photographer what they think is best, let them know what your priorities are, and they'll be able to guide you in the best direction.
There’s really not much more to it than that! A little planning and a willingness to goof around are all that’s required to have a fun day, and of course, family photos that will last a lifetime.