Family photos are fun… but they can also be stressful! Each year, we have our family photos taken and even though I am a photographer, planning for our session can be overwhelming (Where will we go? What will we wear? There are so many things to think about!) Here are some family photo session tips that I have picked up in my 10 years of photographing and being photographed. These ideas will help you make the most of your next family photo session.
PS – Browse more of our tips for clients HERE!
Relax, relax, RELAX.
The first and most important tip for a family photo session is to have fun. For little ones, the more we can make the photo session feel like a regular day, the longer they will last and the more of their personalities we will capture.
Bring your patience.
We schedule plenty of time to get lots of great photos. If we need to take a snack break, walk to another location, or just stop to chat to give everyone a moment, that is perfectly ok! It takes time for everyone, grown ups included, to feel comfortable.
Let go of perfection.
Try not to worry that you baby is not laughing like he usually does. While our goal is always to get a few perfectly happy photos of your family, we also want to capture this exact time in your family. That snooty face your daughter makes when she is mad, the way your son holds your hand, the silly, the funny, and the real. I find that the sessions where we worry less about the perfect smiling photo, there end up being more happy, smiling images.
Go for comfort.
Choose clothing that is comfortable and fits well. If you are tugging on your dress when you try it on, you will feel uncomfortable during the session. Our goal is to capture your real smiles and personalities and it is difficult to relax when your clothing is uncomfortable. Children should also be comfortable. Make sure there are no itchy tags or shoes that are too big or too small.
Follow their lead.
The little ones are the boss. Your family photo session is a time for no rules. More than likely, I will follow your children’s lead, to gain their trust and to keep the smiles coming.
Get some rest.
Let us know if we recommend a session time that is during your toddler’s nap time… we will be happy to make adjustments! Try to get plenty of rest the night before and get naps the day of for those who need them.
Leading up to the session, think about the fun things your children and family like to do together. Is your baby loving a certain song? Does your toddler giggle when he jumps? Does Dad have a joke that they kids always laugh at? Maybe bring a favorite toy that is cute enough to be photographed or has sentimental value.
Take a step back.
When the I am capturing images of your children alone, sometimes walking away is the best plan. Kids will do things for other grown ups that they won’t do for their parents. When it is just me and them, they know exactly where to look. ;)
Don’t forget to eat.
Full tummies makes for happy families. No one wants to be hungry during a photo session. Bring snacks if anyone is likely to be hungry during the session.