Preparing for your Family Photo Session

Mom is picking out all the outfits, getting snacks packed, dad is trying to figure out where his shoes went, kids are resisting tooth and nail even getting ready for photos they don’t want to do. Family photos are hard enough without the pressure of what to expect during the session. Parents want things to just go smoothly and sometimes that isn’t the easiest without knowing what the session will look like. Of course, there will be families of different sizes that will book a session with us but there are some common tips that can help families of all sizes. We really like to focus on comfort, natural interaction, and fun!

Feeling Comfortable

I know a lot of us definitely do not feel comfortable in front of a camera. We want the memories but we cringe to think about looking at ourselves when we get the photos back. It is also very difficult to feel comfortable when your little one decides that the middle of the shoot is best time to throw a tantrum. We will never blame a kid for wanting to be done sitting still for several minutes and smile nice for the camera. There are some tips and tricks, though, that we’ve found can help the experience more comfortable.

Parents / Adults

Parents/adults if you know that you have a hard time with how you look in photos, there are a few tips that can help you feel more comfortable. Before the shoot, you can prepare by looking at your angles in a mirror or taking photos on your phone to figure out your favorite angle. This might not be perfect but try to understand what it is that you like or don’t like about the photos.

Another way to feel more comfortable is to be transparent with your photographer. Us photographers don’t see you with the same critical eye. If other photographers are anything like me, they’re going to think you’re absolutely beautiful or handsome. To make you feel more comfortable, however, sharing the things that you want to avoid or do during the shoot can help the session go the direction you’d like it to.

For the Kids!

A great option to make you feel more comfortable and your kids, bring someone along that the kids enjoy and love. We do what we can to make them smile and have a good time but we are a perfect stranger to them (& I encourage their natural instinct to stay away from / be skeptical of strangers). Someone your kids know can find all the right things to make them happy if they’re babies or toddlers or to get them to laugh if they’re young kids. Additionally, if the kids need a quick break from photos to regroup, we can use that time to get photos of mom and dad together without worrying about what the kids are doing while you’re trying to focus on smiling without a stress line between your eyebrows.

Natural Interaction

Not many people like the extremely posed, tilt your head this way, point your nose that way, place your hand here or there, photos anymore. Clients don’t want to look back on the photos and think, “that doesn’t look like us at all.” What makes family photos so special, from my experience, is when we can completely encompass who the family is in those photos. The photographer is absolutely in charge of making sure that hands and body language doesn’t look weird but that is in collaboration with how the family naturally interacts.