Family Photo Session Tips: How to make it a Fun and Memorable Event
Summer is almost over (although it may not feel that way outside) and the cooler weather will arrive soon. That means it is time to get new family portraits.
Let’s face it… getting ready for your family photo shoot can be stressful, especially for the moms. What dress should everyone wear, what should be the theme of the session, how to get the kids excited for the shoot… All of this could be overwhelming at times. That’s why I thought I’d put together a few tips to help you prepare for it. Photo sessions should be an enjoyable as well as a memorable event. Our goal is to make the session an absolute fun experience for parents and kids alike and capture your unforgettable memories portraying the love and bonding you share. Life goes by fast. Years down the road looking at the pictures will allow you to relive the pleasant family memories.
If you have any additional questions, I’m here to help.
Before the Shoot
1. Prepare the kiddos (and dad too, lol!)
Tell them about the upcoming photoshoot and get them mentally prepared. Get them involved in the preparation. You can always ‘brainstorm’ about what you would like to capture, the poses, some ‘silly’ family shot ideas, what colors to wear, etc. Incentivizing them for being cooperative may go an extra mile, like going to their favorite restaurant for dinner, or going for ice cream afterward.
Advice for dads: Many dads dread the idea of being in front of the camera and smile for a stranger, but please understand the importance of capturing your family. Children grow up fast, and one day they will have a family of their own, but these family photos will last forever. So please be a cheerful participant and a team player and help your wife with the preparation. Trust me, the results will be amazing.
2. Choosing your attire
The most common question my clients ask is “what to wear”. There is no hard and fast rule, just make sure that your outfit selections are comfortable and soothing. Have your clothing chosen in advance and have them cleaned and ironed, if necessary. They do not have to be of the same colors but color coordination with mix and match would look good in the pictures (and I can always help you with some suggestions). Season-appropriate colors and clothing go well with the natural backdrop for outdoor portraits. Solid colors look good. Try to avoid heavy checks or busy patterns. Also, cotton or linen clothing pictures better compared to any silky materials. Heavy jewelries or watches are best to avoid.
I always recommend moms to get their hair and makeup done, so that they feel and look pretty and confident during the session. If you are getting your makeup done, please schedule in advance and leave ample time before the session. I do work with a few makeup artists that I can recommend if you need.
3. Make sure everyone is fed and rested
Kids, specifically if they are little, will be cranky and not cooperative if they are tired or hungry and that will reflect in the photos. I generally schedule my outdoor sessions at the golden hour. That will give you enough time to plan accordingly and rest/nap as needed. Also leave plenty of time to get ready before the session.
4. What to bring to the session
Please bring snacks for the kids and a set of backup clothes for everyone, in case. Please be mindful of what snacks you bring as some of them can stain or get stuck to the teeth (like Cheetos, lollipops or red or green juices, chocolates etc.). Also, don’t forget to bring your bug sprays. No matter what time of the year it is, Texas mosquitos are always present. Additionally, we often shoot in the forest or park areas where we have a lot of trees, bushes, and un-even surfaces to walk on. Not only insects, but also a lot of other creatures are around. So, please remember to wear comfortable and toe-covering shoes.
You can also bring items that are part of your family-life, examples: favorite stuffed toys or blankets, books, or a board game that the whole family enjoy. This will not only help capturing the true essence of your family, but also make everyone relax and have fun during the session.
5. Including your dog in the pictures
I’d love to include your 4-legged family members in your photoshoot. I adore dogs. If you have a well-behaved pooch and the location allows them, why not bring them too? I have done quite a few shoots with family dogs and will be happy to incorporate them, just let me know in advance.
During the session
1. Posing for the pictures
Family story-telling sessions are just that, documenting your family’s story. So not every picture has to have everyone looking at the camera and smiling at the same time. The best photographs are often the ones where everyone is engaged or interacting with each other. If you are engaged as a family, your smile will be natural (so no need to be practicing ‘say cheese’ before the shoot 😊). These are the photographs that will be treasured the most because they portray your connection and love.
2. Have fun during the session
This is most important… Relax and do all the fun things that define your family: carry the little on your shoulder, toss and catch the baby in the air, tell your wife how much you love her, tell your husband how much you appreciate him, give your daughter a sweet kiss on her forehead, laugh, giggle, joke, and snuggle, enjoy your time together…. And let me capture the true emotions, the true story of your family!
I hope these tips will help you for your next session. If you have any questions or suggestions, I’d love to hear them as well.
Interested in a family session with us? Please reach out to me through email or call anytime (firstname.lastname@example.org or 281-687-5874)