Here are a few tips to make your family session stress-free and effortless.
Your family session is not the time to discipline your child/children. It will only make them unhappy and maybe even ruin your time. Let them be children, let them have fun, run around and be themselves. It is my job to get on their level, interact with them and catch them off guard. I can promise you those natural smiles and laughter are the most beautiful ones. It might feel like you all need to be on your best behavior, but it's really not necessary.
The most important part of a successful photo session is to have fun.
GIVE YOURSELF PLENTY OF TIME TO GET READY
Give yourself 30 extra minutes than you think you need to get your family ready. When you are running late, mom isn’t happy, which we all know means nobody’s happy. Even if you get to the session 20 minutes early, just the peace of mind of knowing you are on time makes a HUGE difference.
GET DAD ON BOARD
I know family photos are hard, painful even dreadful for a whole lot of dad’s out there. But hey, you can do it, I know you can. If you have a good photographer, time will fly by and you will feel like it was just a fun activity with your family. Here is a reminder: No one ever regrets having their photos taken. Ever. You will cherish these for a lifetime, and the sacrifice is a little time of awkwardness (possibly) and not doing your favorite thing.
Who said you can’t bribe kids to listen for a little bit? … Not me!! Bribe away. The best types of candies are smarties because they don’t make a mess, or if you tell them you have a special prize in the car for them after the session (a small toy, and actually have one) that works wonders as well. It’s only for a short time, and it makes life easier for everyone.
NO NEED FOR “CHEESE”
Sometimes it’s so hard not to just say “Say cheese,” but it is my gentle advice and a part of Family Session Tips and Tricks to try not to. It actually creates a forced smile and nothing that brings that beautiful connection to your photos. Natural, unforced smiles or natural faces with no smile at all are what we are going for. Just let me handle it, capturing whatever comes along, and enjoy your session.
Outfit & Location
Choose your outfit and location very carefully. You need to think about the end result - what do you want to do with your images? Do you want to frame them for your home? If yes, think about your home decor. Do you have a minimalist home, all neutral tones? Also yes, then try and stick with neutral tones for your outfits and location. You will thank me later.
KEEP IT SIMPLE - SUBTLY MIX IN TEXTURES AND PATTERNS
You may feel more comfortable having everyone in solid color fabrics, but you can also feel free to mix in a couple of different patterns and textures to add some more dimension and character! The key here is, less is more. If one child is wearing stripes, don’t put the whole family in stripes and polka dots and plaid. That’s just too busy and too much.
Plan the color pallet and vibes you are going for and make sure you view the outfits together before the shoot. Don't try and "wing it", it might end up in you scrambling to get everything together on the day.
Think of blending complementary tones, textures, and patterns
DONT FORGET ACCESSORIES AND YOUR ENVIRONMENT
If you’re taking photos in a grassy field, you might not want everyone in a bunch of green and beige tones because they’ll just start blending in too much with the surroundings. Neutral colors are usually safe and best, but just be aware of where you’ll be getting photos done and try to pick tones that work with the surroundings, not against them.
And… bring accessories! A cozy throw, a sun hat or beanie, a bouquet of flowers, coffee mugs, picnic supplies, or even something to eat can act as fun props in some of the photos. They’ll add some interest to the images, and they’ll give you and your fam something to focus on or play with, rather than feeling the need to “pose".
Most of all, your family’s comfort is key above all else. You need to feel good in order to look your best, so don’t overthink it or put your family in a bunch of outfits they’d never wear. Stay true to your personalities, let the kiddos get involved, and above all else, let your creativity shine through! Family photos should capture the individuality of everyone in your family in this season, so the clothing is really better left simple and comfy.
Professional makeup is always advised, but make sure that you still look and feel like yourself. You don't want to look like a different person in your photos.
If you need any inspiration, you can always search "photoshoot outfit options and color pallets" on Pinterest for beautiful results.