So You're Getting Family Photos....
Oh no, the dreaded family photos.
Maybe even the words send a shiver down your spine. But they shouldn’t! While most people are not big on being photographed (believe me, you’re not alone), I promise it can be an awesome experience with pictures to prove it! If you’re having some pre-photo jitters or you’re simply convinced your kids cannot sit as still as those other kids must have, boy have I got news for you...
So let me put your mind at ease. No one's family photos go perfectly smooth in a parent's mind. You might feel like your kids are wild, they don't want to sit still, and they won't stop talking for a single picture - that's what kids do! And if you need even more assurance, let's go through some of my top tips and advice to prepare you for Photo Day.
Take A Chill Pill
The number one thing to remember about your family picture session: RELAX. Yes, you are making an investment in time and money to get what you hope will be the most beautiful, hallway-worthy images. But the reality is, perfect photos aren’t born from perfect children - just fun parents and a quick-on-the-draw photographer. Your tendency may be to become an admiral and bossy pants or rule with an iron fist on photo day, but in my experience as a photographer, it is not the time for it. While we want your kids (and your husband...) to listen to you, let’s do it in a sneaky way so they think they’re just having fun instead of being bossed around. Have fun together and try to interact with your kids how you usually would when playing games or just hanging out! The less awkwardness you feel, the more natural they will smile and act.
Part of my job is to guide your family, to alter slightly awkward poses, but most of all to make sure you guys can be yourselves and your kids silliness can be caught on camera. I want your kids to run around, I want them to play games! I can help direct your family - but trust me on this one, it's best to let things happen naturally and capture everyone's smiles than to shove any enthusiasm down with a stern time-out. We can do this AND smile!
Hangry is Not Fun
Now onto the capital-H hangry. We all know a full belly equals a happy belly and a happy belly equals a happy kid. I get hangry, and I just can’t blame little munchkins for being a little snarly when they need a snack either. We will arrange our picture time so that everyone can be well fed before the session, but I also encourage you to bring snacks and treats along with you! One suggestion is to keep that stash of food on a need-to-know basis. That is, we’ll try and get photos of the kids without food in their mouth until they need a little bribing, and then take breaks as needed. That can mean cheese and pepperoni, or maybe you want to add a few M&M’s for the bribing. Either way, “clean” snacks that can be quickly munched on and not leave any dirty faces or hands are the best!
Family picture day is not a regular day, so it's okay to branch out from what you might normally allow them to snack on. You are totally in control on this one, but something to make the day exciting can be special treats and snacks. Who knows, maybe they will even look forward to it next time!
A Good Looking Gang
If there’s one thing we all know about photos...looks matter! This means everyone should show up ready for the photo session in their cleanest and most well planned outfit. Whether you are looking for something more formal, or if everyone wears jeans and nice tops, your outfit should be well thought out and maybe even accessorized! Even if you don’t dress like that everyday, believe me when I say it pays to work just a little harder on this day. If you wear makeup, you might put just a little extra eye shadow on to make sure it shows in the photos. And to lessen your stress, try and plan about a week ahead so you’re all ready on the day.
Find cute AND comfortable clothes – no attitude is ruined quicker than a scratchy dress and a belt cinched too tight. Kids have a tendency to rip off clothes that aren’t serving their purpose, so choose wisely. And for that matter, adults should be comfortable too! Make sure you can move around in the clothes you wear since I may be asking you to kneel down, sit, or jump up! Having cohesive outfits also doesn't necessarily mean everyone is wearing the same thing, just colours that go together and a general dress code. Maybe everyone will wear pastels, or you go for a boho vibe - that's what really makes family pictures stand out (not to mention the smiles).
Now this may not be my most popular piece of advice, but I suggest allowing your kids to plan a few poses and pictures of their choosing! Maybe they love football and it would just make their day to have a photo playing their favorite sport. If it means a favorite stuffed animal, a silly pose, or a funny face – their input being taken seriously can be the difference between a pout and a big toothy smile. In fact, your best family photo may come from their idea of how to pose together! I promise we will capture the picture-perfect family and also get loads of fun ones that truly showcase your family's personalities. Let's have a little fun too!
Trust Your Photographer
And last but not least... let your photographer take the lead. You may be tempted to tell your kids how to stand or where to look, but try and hold it in! Sometimes the best shot is the one where everyone is being themselves, albeit a little distracted. I will reign everyone in if need be, but if we have discussed beforehand the shots you especially want – I will make sure we get them. Give me a little room to get some others too!
Everything is a little different behind the camera lens, and it's from there that I know how to get the best shot! I promise we will get beautiful photos that you will proudly hang in your hallway, your bedrooms, your living room - maybe you'll just start giving them out to everyone you know too! I support all forms of being obsessed with your sweet, adorable family.
If you have any more questions about how I like to guide my photo sessions, please reach out and I will happily answer your questions! I would love to help your family capture their best moments.