How to Prepare for Your Family Photo Session
A little bit of preparation can go a long way to help your family picture day run smoothly. Here are my top 8 tips to get you ready.
1. CHANNEL YOUR INNER YOGI & JUST BREATHE
Let's face it. In real life even with the best preparation you'll sometimes get fussy babies or kids who won't cooperate. It's okay. I've seen it. I've lived it. And we can work through it. What I want you to do is just breathe. Keep it light and stay positive because others, especially your little ones, will feed off your energy. What I don't want you to do is start making threats or demand your child sit still and look at the camera because that will result in grumpy kids and frustrated adults. Remember that no family is perfect, and I don't expect perfection. Bring a positive attitude, roll with what the day brings you, and just have fun with your family.
2. WHAT TO BRING
• If your child has a stuffed animal or doll or lovey that is particularly special then feel free to bring it along. Not only can it help them feel more comfortable but it can also be a nice detail - a sweet symbol of childhood.
• A brush or comb
• Dry snacks
• Back up clothing for the kids. You probably won't need it but it's good to have a spare set just in case.
Favorite stuffed bear for the win!
3. WHEN IT COMES TO CLOTHES, CHOOSE WISELY
You'll be doing yourself a huge favor by making sure that everybody is in clothes that are comfortable and that they feel good about wearing.
Another thing to consider when planning outfits is how you'll be using the photos. If your goal is to hang prints in a certain room of your home choose a color scheme that will be a good complement for the decor.
And remember to leave out those little things that can be distracting like cell phones in pockets, hair ties on the wrist, FitBits etc.
For more on what to wear, check out this post.
4. BEWARE THE HANGRY MONSTER
Lions and tigers and...the hangry monster. It can sneak up on you, that little bit of hunger that grows and transforms into an angry, unreasonable beast. The best way to avoid it is to make sure everyone is well fed before coming to the session. Also, you may want to bring some snacks to keep it at bay just in case. Just make sure they're dry snacks like cheerios or goldfish because nothing ruins a good picture day outfit like a baby food pouch gone wrong.
5. GET YOUR Zs
Coming to your session well rested will definitely be to your advantage (duh). I know, I know real life can get in the way sometimes. Just do the best you can to keep kids on their regular nap/sleep schedule for a few days leading up and try to get some good shut-eye yourself.
6. GIVE YOURSELF SOME WIGGLE ROOM
The struggle can be real trying to get the family out the door and on time. Give yourself plenty of extra time to get ready and moving so you can arrive to the session without feeling rushed or disorganized.
7. GIVE KIDS THE HEADS UP
Let the kids mentally prepare by telling them at least a few days in advance what the plan is. Set the stage for a positive experience by explaining why this is important to you and that it will be fun! And if you're comfortable with it, this can be when you introduce a reward (ahem, bribe). I always give a small prize at the end of the session but some people like to also offer their own special treat, like an ice cream outing afterwards.
This is going to be a hoot!
8. GIVE THE PHOTOGRAPHER A HEADS UP
Communication is key my friends! The more you can tell me ahead of time the better. If, say, you couldn't envision your family portrait without your dog, let me know before we get there so I can make sure our location is dog-friendly and can plan our session accordingly. Or if your kid hates being told that he's "cute", tell me so I can choose words that won't make him scowl. A great place to put all this kind of info is in the Getting to Know You form that you'll get upon booking, but know that you can reach out anytime!
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