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The Most Excellent Photo Sessions

Let’s face it… family photo sessions can be challenging… for not only the family, but sometimes the photographer as well. These tips will help get the most out of your photography session!

1.  Clothing is important – let the photographer help!

Advice for clients:

Have your clothing chosen way in advance and make sure that your outfit choices are comfortable and attractive.  What do your dream family photos look like?  If they are soft and elegant?  Chose neutral colors with soft, flowing fabrics…. think creams, very soft pastels, oatmeals, light browns, tans, grays, and slate blues.  Want to showcase the fun and spunky side of your family?  Choose coordinating colors (but not matchy, matchy) with bold accent colors, such as hues of gray with yellow or bright red accents.  Adding fun accessories like scarves, headbands, hats, etc. can add a modern twist and sassy flair to your images.

2. Be sure to leave plenty of time to get ready.

Advice for clients:

Moms are often rushing around before a photo shoot, making sure that their family is dressed and ready. Leave plenty of time for showers, baths, dressing, and grooming. When a family shows up to a family photo session rushed and disorganized, it sets the tone for a rushed and disorganized session. Give yourself extra time so that you are ready before it’s time to head out that door. Mom, if you can have your hair and makeup professionally done, spurge and do it! When you feel pretty and confident, it will reflect onto the rest of the family! Plus it just feels soooo good!

3.  Eat and Sleep!

Advice for clients:

Try not to schedule a photo session around your child’s nap or bedtime routine.   The best time for lighting is the two hours after sunrise and the two hours before sunset. If this is a bad time for your children, talk with your photographer. A good photographer will be able to shoot at any time of day but it is important for them to plan location correctly. Showing up to a photo shoot hungry is also not a good idea. I don’t know about you, but when I am hungry I tend to be cranky and a little lethargic. So if your plan is dinner AFTER the session, think about a good healthy snack first!

4. No Cheese Please.

Advice for clients:

I have said this before! Please, parents… leave the “cheese” at home. Let the photographer interact natually and talk with your children. This will result in natural, gorgeous smiles. Help the photographer capture the true essence of your child’s personality by talking with and coaxing out those smiles naturally and easily.

5. Have fun with your family.

Advice for clients:

This is so important to me as your photographer. I want you to have fun! Don’t be afraid to pick up your children and toss them in the air. Give your wife a sweet kiss on the check. Tell your husband how much you love him and appreciate him for being there for your family. Have fun. Laugh. Giggle. Joke. Embrace. Kiss. Snuggle. Play. Doing these things will allow the photographer to capture the emotion and true beauty of your family. Show your photographer who you really are, so that she has the opportunity to capture your love through her lens.

6. NOT everyone has to be looking and smiling at the camera at the same time.

Advice for clients:

The best photographs are often the ones where everyone is engaged or interacting with each other. Understand that not every picture needs to have everyone looking at the camera and smiling at the same time. If you are engaged as a family and loving on each other, your eyes will be on your family members and your smile with be natural. These are the photographs that you will cherish most because they depict your family connection and your love.

7. Bring an activity that you enjoy doing together as a family.

Advice for your clients:

Another favorite! My most successful family sessions have incorporated an activity that the family loves to do together. This gives you something to do with your hands and feet, engages the little ones, and brings an authentic smile to your face. Do you love to read together? Bring some books. Is your favorite dessert cake? Bring some cake! OR maybe think about showing up to a dessert place as part of your session. Love to play board games or cards? Plan to play a round of Uno or Monopoly during your family photo session. Other ideas include: football, piggy back rides, races, bike riding, hiking, singing, picnics, the ideas are endless. When families are engaged in doing something that they love together, the photographer will have the opportunity to take some beautiful and authentic photographs.

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