FAMILY PHOTO SESSIONS || THEY REALLY CAN BE FUN!!

Family photo sessions are my favorite sessions to do, I love being able to capture families in all the stages of their life, I love seeing you interact with your extended family and I love working with your children. I hope that you know how important preserving your family legacy is to me and how much it means to me that you allow me to capture your family in photos.

Family Pictures are also HARD, I get it, I wrote a blog post a few years ago about this very thing, you can find it HERE. I understand the time and effort it takes to plan and prepare for family pictures and I want to be here to help you.

When you book a family session with me, I will email you a full style guide with detailed information for clothing, location, things to do to make it run smooth and all kinds of tips and tricks. I’m also available to answer all of your questions and help you make decisions about your session.

Today I want to share some tips to help make your session more enjoyable, for everyone involved, even dad! 😉  If you want some more tips on how to prepare for a family session, read THIS post for 10 additional tips!!

Before I start, thank you to ALL of the families I have met through my photography journey, these photos were all taken last fall and never made it to the blog because I was too busy taking more photos of other families. I want you to know that I LOVE you all and that I wouldn’t be able to do this job without all the amazing families who keep coming back year after year!!

SO, HERE ARE SOME TIPS TO HELP YOU MAKE YOUR SESSION MORE FUN!!!

#1 – INTERACT AND RELAX!

Family photos should be about celebrating YOUR family!!!! Not every photo needs to be looking at the camera, in fact my very favorite photos are the ones when nobody is looking at the camera. If you have a family joke, something that makes your family laugh or something that you want to capture, let me know. I will prompt you to get some fun candid photos and we will have a lot of fun. Family photos should feel like you’re hanging out and having a good time, not like you’re being tortured!

#2 – LET THE KIDS BE KIDS!! {EVEN THE BIG KIDS}

Let the kids be themselves. I know you want the perfect, posed, everybody looking at the camera shot, I DO TOO, and I will work really hard to get it.  The more relaxed and calm you are, the more relaxed and calm the kids will be and the more natural they will look in the photos. If you are constantly hollering at them to smile, and making them “be” a certain way, they will look unnatural and will mostly likely NOT be smiling. This includes dad and big kids too!! Let me do the work of getting the kids to smile, that’s part of my job and I enjoy being able to capture your kids as naturally as possible!

#3 BRIBE THE LITTLE PEOPLE WITH ALL THE THINGS!!!

I tell many parents to treat family photos like air travel… DO WHAT IS NECESSARY TO SURVIVE. Screen time. Treats. Money. Dinner Out. A new toy. Break out all of the stops. You are kind of at your kids whim here. Make it worth their while!! Seriously, it will be worth it to get that ONE family photo!!

#4 – SET EXPECTATIONS – AND THEN LOWER THEM EVEN MORE! {especially if you have several little ones}

Photographing families with lots of children (or pets) will never go as planned. No matter how much you try to plan the likelihood of the shoot not going as planned is great. Children and pets are unpredictable, and as such, your predictions will probably be proven wrong! Don’t be discouraged! We will capture THIS time in your life, you will always look back and remember this phase, and these sweet smiles – even if they are cheesy, silly smiles!! 

#5 – KEEP THE DAY CLEAR

It’s best not to plan family photos at the end of a jam packed day. Asking kids to sit and follow directions after being in overdrive is a recipe for noncompliance and disaster. Plan extra time for meltdowns and getting ready preparations. Make sure the kids are all fed and that you have plenty of time to get to the session. Nothing is worse than starting off on the wrong foot and feeling rushed and scattered the entire session.

#6 – FORGET YOUR INSECURITIES AND JUST BOOK THE SESSION!!!

All too often it saddens me to hear moms say things like “Oh, I need to lose a few more pounds before I schedule our photos…” I highly encourage you to move past your insecurities and get a session on the books so that you can be in the photos. If you’re nervous to get family photos taken because you feel like you aren’t looking your best, you’re not thin enough, your hair doesn’t look good, or you just feel like it’s never the right time, get them taken ANYWAY! Remember, your family and children love you just the way you are, TODAY!! You will cherish these photos for years to come, and no one will care if you put on a few pounds or your hair is not perfect…whose is??

I promise your loved ones will not look at your photos and see anything different than their mom, who loves them. I wish with everything I have that I had more photos of me with my mom. She hated her photos taken, she would put her hand up in front of her face and she would always avoid the camera. I already know what she looks like, I know she had a few extra pounds she didn’t love, but now that she’s gone, I wish more than anything I had captured more photos with her while she was here! Don’t regret that you didn’t get IN the photos with your children.

I hope I’ve given you something to think about, and some tips to make family photos seem a little less daunting and a little more fun!! I want to capture you as naturally as possible and stressing over every little detail isn’t going to capture your true family. Don’t expect perfection, just a real representation of your family, RIGHT NOW and I promise you will never regret being in the photos with these people who you love SO much!!!

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