So much stress! Coordinating nap times to allow for optimal behaviors during golden hour alone is enough to keep a mother on the brink of a breakdown the day of a family photo session. Add in inconvenient toddler - or teen .. or husband - hunger, potty time, dilly dallying hubbies - IFYKY - and it's no wonder most of us are encouraging littles to just sit still through clenched teeth during our family photography sessions. So, how can we help to keep our family on-course and create poetic magic that is your photo gallery?Well first of all, this is the reality of literally every mother on the planet, so don't feel like your kids are doing anything wrong. I see you, mama. These tips are not a cure-all, but I'm sure they will help anyone planning to take professional family photos.
TIP #1: Styling and Coordinating Colors:
Hire a Photographer Who Offers a Client Closet: This is something you should not sleep on! Having a photographer who takes the time to style your family and offers pieces for you all to wear saves not only tons of time and relieves this stress, but can save literally hundreds of dollars! I offer high end, handmade gowns for mamas and then style the kiddos and partner off of her choice. I have outfits for children up to boys - 5t and girls up to size 9.
Choose a Color Palette: Select a color palette that complements each other and the chosen setting. Coordinating colors can enhance the visual appeal of the photos.
Avoid Overly Matching: While coordinating, encourage variety in clothing rather than everyone wearing the exact same outfit. This adds visual interest and reflects individual personalities.
TIP #2: Let the Kids Play and Be Themselves:
Let the Kids Play: Lifestyle photography is all about the in-between moments that are unposed and natural. Allow the kids to be themselves, as much as possible. Your photographer might suggest playing games, blowing bubbles, or hunting for flowers and pretty things to give to mommy. This not only keeps them engaged but also captures genuine moments of joy.
Allow Candid Interactions: Interact with the kids as like you would at home - when they're not throwing their dinner on the floor or undoing all your tidying from the day before. Cuddle them, run around with them, hold them close and look them in their eyes with sincere love and genuine gratitude. These often result in the most authentic and heartwarming images.
TIP #3: Bring Snacks and Refreshments:
Snack Breaks: Have a few snacks and drinks on hand, especially if children are involved. Snack breaks not only keep energy levels up but will prevent the kiddos from suddenly being over it and thirsty or overheated - especially if you are in southeastern Virginia anytime between June and October.
TIP #4: Prepping the Kids for a Fun Session:
Set Expectations: Talk about your upcoming session with the kids in a positive and exciting way. Let them know it's a time to have fun and play, not a formal or stressful event. Tell them you're meeting a friend in a park to take some pictures of them.
Bring Comfort Items: If you have a shy or younger child, bring a favorite toy or comfort item. This can help them feel more at ease during the session. Bonus points, if it's a cute neutral colored stuffed animal or blanket.
TIP #5: Relax, Enjoy, and Be in the Moment:
Embrace Spontaneity: Allow for unplanned moments to happen. The most genuine and cherished photographs often come from candid, unscripted interactions.
Focus on Each Other: Remind the family to focus on enjoying each other's company rather than worrying too much about posing for the camera. Authentic connections and emotions make for timeless photos.
Choosing the Right Photographer:
Review Portfolios: Look through the photographer's portfolio to ensure their style aligns with the family's vision. Every photographer has a unique approach, so finding one whose work resonates with you is crucial. You can see mine here!
Communication is Key: Communicate openly with the photographer about expectations, preferences, and any specific shots you have in mind. A good rapport ensures a smoother collaboration.
Connect Before the Session: I always schedule a phone consultation where I get to "meet" my client, hear their voices, make silly jokes, and clue them in to how my photography sessions work and answer all of their questions. This is helpful for my clients as well as myself, because it helps to break the ice and create more relaxed photo sessions with me as their guide.
By giving attention to these details, your family can set the stage ahead of time for an emotive, relaxed, and beautifully captured photography session that reflects you unique personalities and relationships.
I'd love to be your photographer! I travel the state of Virginia and service North Eastern North Carolina as well! Send me a line and let's connect.