So you’ve got your family photo session scheduled…you’re pumped to get some updated photos taken of your sweet family so you can hang them on your walls, send them to family, post them to social media and get Christmas cards done. Now you start thinking:
What am I going to dress everyone in?
What if the kids aren’t behaving?
What if we don’t get any good images?
Do I bring props?
Raise your hand if you’re guilty of thinking any of these things! *Me raising my hand as I am currently trying to pick out outfits for my own family session* ha!
Well I’d like to help ease some of these worries you might be having by giving you some tips and reassuring you about your session!
What do you want to remember when you look at these photos?
Your love for your family is probably why you wanted photos done in the first place! At the end of the day its not about the clothes you wore, the location, how you look etc. Its about capturing the stage of life you are in. It’s about playing, snuggling, loving on your kids so that you can look at these photos someday and remember joyous memories.
Let them be kids!
Kids have about a 30 minute window where they are willing to smile and look at the camera but after that we just roll with it! Instead of getting irritated its best to just be positive and interact with them naturally. I am a huge fan of candid moments! I am constantly hitting my shutter to take photos so you’d be surprised how many good photos we can get even if kids might not be looking directly at the camera and smiling. If they need a break let’s do some tickle fights, let them play in the grass, pick a flower etc. More often than not we will get a sweet candid moment from those little breaks. Mommas, just keep smiling! Kiddos can pick up on parent stress levels so try your best to laugh it off and know that we’re getting a lot more material than you might think!
What to wear!?
If you have no clue where to start… PINTEREST! So many good ideas on there. What are you envisioning? If you’re wanting more soft, elegant and dreamy then choose neutral colors with soft, flowing fabrics…creams, pastels, light browns, slate blue, mauve, grays. In my experience these colors look best on camera! Momma, find what YOU want to wear and feel confident in and go from there. Just pretty please no neon, coral colors or too many patterns! Try to find things that go together but wouldn’t look to matchy-matchy right next to each other. If you feel like you need a second opinion I would be more than happy to help!
Well Rested and Fed!
If possible, let’s try not to schedule your photo session too close to nap-time or bedtime. The best time for lighting is typically two hours before sunset but if you think that would be cutting it close too bedtime then let’s try to figure out a different time! Even in full sun we can still utilize some shaded spots! Also try to feed the kiddos before the session! That way no one is hangry for their session 😉
Recruit some help!
I love love when people want to include their family dog in some photos. If this is the case its good to bring someone who would be willing to help out with them! If you have young kids its also helpful to have someone there like Grandma, an Aunt or a friend that you know the kids would laugh at behind the camera. I will do my fair share of peek-a-boo, puppets and jumping, but sometimes having someone there that you know can get the kids to smile will help tremendously during a session!
A few more random tips!
- Bribing isn’t always bad 😉 If your kids will smile for a gummy bear, BRING THEM! It’s best to bring snacks that won’t make a mess or take a while for kids to eat.
- Props – I know a lot of people love to have props in their photos. I have a small wooden chair and a woven basket I like to use for babies and kids but other than that I am not a huge fan of props with my photography style. With that being said if there is something that is very important to you like a toy, an antique, blanket etc. then feel free to bring it!
- I have already said it but I will say it again, I promise we will get good shots! There have been many times I’ve gone back to the images I’ve taken and realized despite the circumstances we got some great captures!
- Getting your makeup done professionally may make you feel more confident during your photo session. I have both done my makeup myself and also paid someone to do it for me and while I remember feeling like it was “to much” I loved how it looked in the photos!