Tips and Tricks for a Successful Family Session
It’s that time of the year when families are booking their holiday family sessions, so we have put together these tips and tricks to prepare you! From wardrobe tips to props, we have you covered!
Location: Choose a location and/or atmosphere that you feel comfortable to be yourselves in, whether it’s in the comfort of your own home or at your favorite park or beach. Keep in mind of the type of backdrop you want in your photos (cityscapes, beach, park, alley way, etc.). We want to make sure you love your images and the first step in doing so is picking a location that you love.
Lighting: Since we are natural light photographers, we schedule our sessions for when there is optimal lighting. This often means right after sunrise or right before sunset. The only exception to this is if we are shooting indoors. We will work with you on finding the best time for photos, and to work around your family’s schedule!
What to Wear: The most important thing is that everyone feels amazing. Wear clothes that you feel great in, fit well, are comfortable, and compliment everyone’s outfits. Stay away from extremely busy patterns and coordinate, but don’t match! Stay away from wearing “matchy-matchy” outfits (white shirts, blue jeans, etc.). Depending on the location you choose, you may want to bring a change of shoes (i.e. cityscape with heels but bring a pair of flip flops to walk around in).
Children: Make sure that everyone is well-rested, fed, and hydrated. This makes a world of difference in attitudes and state of mind. Be sure to bring along a few snacks and drinks, as well as something to reward your children with. A lot of children respond well and give great smiles if they are reminded that they will be rewarded with a toy or treat at the end of the session, as long as they listen to the parents and the photographer. It’s a known fact that children often get impatient and restless, so during your session, we allow our clients and their children a few breaks within the hour we are together so the children can run and play, or have a small snack in between shots. It’s great to take advantage of these 5 minute breaks to grab some beautiful pictures of you, the parents!
Parents: It is best to leave the instructions to the photographer. You can get easily distracted with telling your children how to pose, when to smile, or when to look at the camera. It’s during these times that we, the photographers, will get cute ones of the children, but the parents are often looking somewhere else other than the camera, with their mouths open, or looking impatient and/or annoyed. So when the photographer says, “look at the camera!” be sure to look at the camera and allow the photographer to grab the attention of your children.
Pets: We LOVE pets and welcome you to bring them to your session. We know that they are family, too! In our experience, taking your four-legged family member outside for a play session 30-60 minutes prior to the photo session makes it a little easier when the shoot begins. Doing so normally tuckers them out and they aren’t yanking you all over the place during the session, allowing everyone to be more relaxed. Having a squeaky toy and tons of treats easily accessible is the best way to get your pet(s) attention when the photographer needs them looking at the camera.
Props: Bringing props, such as a chalkboard, balloons, sparklers, etc. is always a fun way to make your shoot unique. If you choose to bring props, depending on the size (i.e. balloons, big signage), we recommend bringing an extra person as well! The props won’t be needed in every photo but you want to have them accessible! An extra person will help with this as they can hold the props/leashes while you and your photographer have fun in some shots without those props! The most popular props are toys, balloons, sonograms, flowers, and bubbles. It’s very common to bring at least one blanket for sitting purposes (this protects you and your clothes from either the sand or grass!) if you are photographing outside of your home. Try to keep the amount of props down to one bag, especially for when you are walking around. The less you have to carry, the less stress you feel!
Timing: Be on time! This is very important! As mentioned above, sessions are scheduled at a specific time for optimal lighting conditions. Give yourself plenty of time to arrive at your session location. You never know whether traffic or parking will be an issue or if you run into any other uncontrollable situation. Arriving on time benefits you and the photographer – you will receive beautiful and beautifully lit photos, the photographer won’t feel rushed through the session, and the children are more likely to be less antsy.
Trust: Trust your photographer to be creative, make you feel comfortable, direct you when needed, and provide you with some amazing shots! If you worry too much about controlling the session, you won’t have fun and neither will your photographer.
HAVE FUN! Be yourselves, interact with each other, be playful, laugh, and have a good time! Let your personalities shine!