GIVE YOURSELF PLENTY OF TIME TO GET READY:
From my 13 years of photographing families, the thing that causes the most pain and chaos in family photos is running late. Give your self 30 extra minutes than you think you need to get your family ready. When you are running late, mom isn’t happy, which we all know means nobody’s happy. Even if you get to the session 20 minutes early, just the peace of mind knowing you are on time makes a HUGE difference.
CHOOSE YOUR CLOTHING CAREFULLY:
Choose your clothing in advance, the most important part of choosing what to wear for your family… COMFORT. When kids aren’t comfortable, they simply just aren’t’ happy. Guide them in the direction you would like, but pay attention to their wants and needs.
What do your dream family photos look like? Are they soft and elegant? Choose neutral colors. Think creams, very soft pastels, oatmeals, light browns, tans, grays, and slate blues.
Bright and cheerful? Choose coordinating colors, but no need to match everything. Just adding a little color with bold accent colors works wonderful. Such as hues of gray with yellow or navy accents or neutrals with hues of green and navy.
GET DAD ON BOARD:
I know, family photos are hard, painful even dreadful for a whole lot of dad’s out there. But hey, you can do it, I know you can. If you have a good photographer, time will fly by and you will feel like it was just a fun activity with your family. Here is a reminder: No one ever regrets having their photos taken. Ever. You will cherish these for a lifetime, and the sacrifice is a little time of awkwardness (possibly) and not doing your favorite thing.
Who said you can’t bribe kids to listen for a little bit? … Not me!! Bribe away. The best types of candies are smarties because they don’t make a mess, or if you tell them you have a special prize in the car for them after the session (a dollar toy, and actually have one) that works wonders as well. It’s only for a short time, and it makes life easier for everyone.
NO NEED FOR “CHEESE”:
Sometime’s it’s so hard not to just say “Say cheese,” but it is my gentle advice and a part of Family Session Tips and Tricks to try not to. It actually creates a forced smile and nothing that brings that beautiful connection to your photos. Natural, unforced smiles or natural faces with no smile at all is what we are going for. Just let the photographer handle it, capturing whatever comes along and enjoy your session.
PLAN A FAMILY OUTING AFTER THE SESSION:
Face it, getting a family ready is no joke, and you got ready for a portrait session, why not milk all those beautiful faces and head out to dinner or a movie or activity after the session. It will create a memory that makes your family photos even that much more special because you will have a fun activity to attach to the photos.
RELAX! THIS IS JUST FAMILY PHOTOS:
These images probably aren’t going into People Magazine… I mean they could, but probably not. These are just pictures of your family capturing you how you are today. It should be a fun memory, where everyone is happy and calm and just enjoying each other. If your family plays football and it helps everyone relax, bring it, if your daughter likes to play the harmonica, bring it. Light, fun, and stress-free; these are the words you should have in your mind as you head to your family session. With a good photographer, that should be their mantra as well. Enjoy yourselves, know that everyone might not be looking at the camera at the same time, and it’s ok. However, you are, however, you come is ok. Create a memory that brings up beautiful emotions each time you see the photos. I hope these family session tips and tricks helped out a little.
And remember, you will never regret getting family photos taken.