1. Get plenty of rest the night before.
It’s normal to feel a little nervous before your session. You aren’t too sure how this will work or what type of poses you will be doing. You stay up late into the wee hours sorting out your outfits & looking through your pinterest boards looking for inspiration. You go to sleep worried & you wake up worried. You even look outside at the weather to see if maybe just maybe you can convince yourself that it’s a little “too pretty” for family photos outside, hehe. I totally understand! We all feel a little nervous before a shoot, but try your best to get some rest the night before & trust me- your family session will be great!
2. Don’t worry so much about the poses.
Whenever I’m about to begin a family session, I always hear the same sentence, “okay, tell us what to do!” The truth is, is that I want to capture your family for who they are. Just relax, hug each other, talk to each other, laugh, just be yourselves. In this pinterest era, it’s normal to go through photo after photo of perfection & you think- I want that exact look. You save the photos on your phone, you have these poses in the back of your mind as you try to mimic these exact poses, but the truth is, you must be yourselves! I’m going to be there to capture the love & silliness that makes your family well, YOUR family.
3. Kids will be kids
I’m going to be honest with you. Most family sessions do not last for more then an hour to an hour 1/2. By the time we are wrapping up, the kids are hungry & tired. They don’t want to smile for the camera anymore & lets just put it out there- by the time we are ending the session- they can’t stand me, I’m just the random girl with the big camera! Think about it, you are 4 years old & all you want to do is run around, yet mom & dad keep asking for you to smile & stand still! Parents, if you know your child loves to run & play, plan for that type of session! I can keep up! If your child is a little more low key, & enjoys a nice cuddle session, I want to capture that for you too. The key is to distinguish their personalities, figure out what type of session will work best for them & for your family in general.
4. Pick a good time
Are your children a ball of sunshine at 8 am? Are they full of energy at 6pm? You know them best & I will work around your schedule! I am very patient. I will work with you! I’ll work around the times you feel are best. Most little ones have a nap time planned out or ready for a snack at a certain time, so it’s best to work around these times. If we happen to be shooting around snack time, why not pack their snack & we can incorporate it into the shoot? Picnic anyone?
5. Have fun & create memories
The best thing about choosing a professional photographer for family photos is that YOU actually get to be in the photos for a change. It never fails, I always hear, “I’m the family photographer, so I’m never in any of the photos!” (I know what that’s like! haha!) This time, it’s about you & your family. Sometimes it makes me sad to hear when families haven’t had photos taken since the Olan Mill days. I am just bewildered when I hear this! Planning a family session can be scary, because you aren’t sure what to expect! In the future though, when you go back 5, 10, 15 years & look at your family photos, you are going to be so happy that we were able to capture such beautiful memories!
The best advice I can give you is to have fun! Be silly, hug, kiss, cuddle, run, jump! I’ll go home smiling because I will know that you, as my client, truly had an amazing time! Of course, I am here to make you feel as comfortable as possible. The best way to do this is by communicating. Don’t be afraid to show me ideas, send me outfit ideas, send me pictures of locations, etc. I love hearing your ideas!