So you've booked your family photo session with your favorite photographer, (if you're in Central California it might even be me!) and now you ask, "What next?" I've put together 7 of my go-to tips to help ensure your family's experience is enjoyable and your photos are stellar!
1. Location Is Key
Choosing the type of location for your session to take place can feel overwhelming. I like to suggest clients choose a spot that is comfortable for the whole family. Maybe the place holds a special place in your family's heart or you have a connection to that place. I use our pre-session consultation in my studio to talk about the look and feel you are wanting. Often times, the photographer will have suggestions for the type of location you would like. Along with location, your photographer can suggest the best time of day for the best lighting.
2. What To Wear
You might not be old enough to remember the days when the whole family wore blue jeans and the same color top, all matchy-matchy. I don't suggest that. Instead choose pieces that are the same level of "fancy" or "not fancy" and stick to a cohesive color pallete. The best portraits I've taken are of people who feel good in what they are wearing so make sure your outfits are comfy and fit well.
3. Snacks And Naps And Rest, Oh My!
It's always a good idea to come to your session with happy bellies and a little fun energy. Making sure your kids have plenty of rest or down time prior to your session could be very helpful. (Also a good idea for parents :) You might want to bring along some clean snacks and water for the kids as well. (Again, good for the grown-ups, too!)
4. A Change Of Clothes And Some Touch Up Items
As you know, accidents happen. If you know you have a spare set of clothes in the wings you may feel more comfortable being a little playful at your session. A comb or brush, some gel or hairspray, a little lip gloss and maybe some powder are all good things to bring with you in a little bag for the little fixes that can make a photo look more polished.
5. Don't Always Look Straight At The Camera
I have to say that some of my most favorite photos are where the people in the photo are reacting to eachother and being their natural selves. I like to get a variety of images of your family; some looking at the camera and some with a natural and spontaneous expressions. Looking back on photos like that can make me actually feel the feels of the family that day.
6. Plan Your Time To Include Buffers
Give yourself and your family a little leeway to foster a sense of ease around your session. You are truly going to treasure these photos of your people. Being relaxed and not being rushed will help with the emotional connection to them and will also show on all of your beautiful faces. I won't ever rush you, either. That's not how I operate.
7. Have Fun, Dang It!
I hear so many times that family photo sessions are stressful and no fun. I've always told people that from my perpective it seems like nobody wants to be there except the mom and she thinks she looks fat. ;) If you ask any of the families I have photographed about my sessions they will tell you that I am relaxed, stress-free and easy going. I can't tell you how many times I have heard, "Wow! That was way easier than I thought it would be!" Seriously, this can be a really fun thing if you let it. Go with the flow and let me do all the work capturing the very best images of your family. No pressure!