When you think of family photography, what comes to mind? Do you imagine the perfect session with everyone smiling and looking their best?
Maybe it’s something different.
You might be thinking about how your kids are fighting in the car on the way to the studio. How they won’t stop jumping around when they get there. Or maybe you can feel your heart start to beat a little faster as you remember that time your baby threw up all over her dress right before she was supposed to pose for pictures.
No matter what thoughts come into your head, one thing is certain: family sessions are always stressful! I will never tell you they aren’t.
But, trust me when I say: I always find beauty in the chaos. I have never ever in my 11 years walked away from doing a session without capturing frameable photos.
Tips for a Successful Family Session
1) Have Fun!
Make sure everyone has a great time! They are all dressed up, possibly meeting me (a stranger) for the first time and they can sense that whatever they are about to do is important. Sometimes the best way to release that energy is just simply to play with them. If they see mom and dad are smiling and happy- they will likely mirror you!
2) All the Snacks!
Bring water and snacks for the kids. If you feel like they will get hungry during your session, bring food too. I recommend something easy to eat – no messy snacks. Fruit snacks, mini marshmallows, and goldfish are always winners!
3) Arrive A Tad Early
If your kiddo is still at the age of spitting up – it is best to arrive at your session a few minutes early so you can dress them upon arriving. It is also a great idea to bring a second outfit to relieve any stress around the outfit mishap.
4) Hugs and Snugs
Give them hugs and snuggles! Even if your kids are super chill, let them know you love them. You can tell that I always post a lot of photos where my clients are interacting with their kiddos and making goofy faces to make them laugh. They will grow up so fast – don’t miss the fun!
5) The Right Timing
If you don’t feel like your kids are going to be on their best behavior at the session, try and choose a time when they aren’t sleeping – just waking up or after lunch. Some kiddos are happiest in the early morning. Some are happier a little later. If possible, try to schedule your session during the timeframe when you think they will be most alert and energized for the camera!
6) Bribery is OK
Do not be above bribing! You can promise them ice cream or a trip to the zoo or a trip to Target to pick out a new toy after the session is over!
Making sure that everyone has a great time, is well fed and hydrated, and feels loved throughout the process will help your family photoshoot to be successful. This isn’t always easy but with these helpful tips, you can give yourself an edge! Remember: no matter how crazy it gets- there are frameable photos waiting for you at the end of your session!