10 Tips For An Awesome Family Photo Session
When you decide to hire a professional family photographer for your family photos, what steps can you take to make the most out of your experience?
After 10 years of working with fun families of all over New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, here are a few of my favorite tips to set you up for success!
01. Ask for the chefs special
Maybe it’s just me, but whenever I go to a restaurant I always ask what the server or chef’s favorite dish is. If it resonates with me I know I’m in for a treat! The same goes for photography. Trust in the vision of the photographer you hired to serve you a magical experience, and you’ll absolutely love what they create for you!
02. Keep it simple
This pertains to many things for your shoot. Clothes, locations, styling, the list goes on. Remember, this experience is about you and your family! Distractions from big tshirt logos or characters, trying to fit in multiple locations in a short timeframe, that extra sign you purchased from Etsy… these are things that take away from the real focus of your portrait experience. It’s all about connecting with the ones you love and celebrating your family right now!
03. Keep the Pinterest checklist at home
While Pinterest definitely has its place on the internets for inspiration, having a must have list to replicate other photographers work is most likely going to be a recipe for disappointment. There so many variables that will be difficult to replicate, but isn’t this about your family? Your relationships? Those unique qualities you love about one another?
It’s a great idea to take note of what you like about certain photos when searching for a family photographer. Make sure the photographers portfolio you choose evokes those same feelings when you look at their portfolio. Feel free to request specific combinations of family members that are important to you, but trust in the photographer you’ve commissioned for this extremely important job.
04. Pamper yourself
Depending on your schedule Go to a spa or salon, or whatever it is that you do to relax and treat yourself! Do something you find enjoyable that makes you feel amazing. That confidence shines through your photographs, trust me. No one ever said ‘I wish I didn’t go to the spa to get my hair done before my photoshoot.’ The more you do to set yourself up for success *without stressing yourself out*, the more you will absolutely love your photos.
05. Prepare ahead of time
You’ve already started by reading this - nice one! Take the time to lay out the ironed outfits, pack the snacks, and make your game plan. The more organized you can be, the less stressed you will be rushing around at the last minute. That stress tends to rub off on others too. Do your family a favor and give everyone a job to help prepare ahead of time.
06. Aim to be there early
If you have to drive during peak times, aim to be at your photo session at least 15 minutes early. You never know what traffic is going to be like, what might spill in the car, or who needs to stop for a bathroom break. Punctuality will ease stress, and also gets you more time at the right time to make beautiful photographs of your family.
07. Make a plan for afterwards
Sometimes kids might need convincing (or our partners might feel the same as well) to be on their best behavior. Since there’s usually about an hour in between the photo session and design consultation, that’s a great time to go grab a quick bite to eat or a special snack - or ice cream!!! If you are having your session during the day or in the morning, a nice fun afternoon plan or dinner is a great idea as well.
08. Get a good night sleep
When we are well rested, it shows in many ways. I know it’s not always possible, but if you can, don’t watch that extra episode on Netflix. Instead, clock an extra hour of sleep! You’ll feel amazing, look amazing, and be in a much better headspace for your portrait experience!
09. Bring a reward
Have a snack on demand, a favorite toy, or anything that can serve as a last resort if someone loses it (even a beverage for Dad or Mom). They can be lifesavers! Meltdowns can happen, especially when we aren’t in a familiar place and asked to do things we don’t always want to do. Bribery isn’t something that’s always appropriate, but it sure is a welcome adversary during your portrait experience!
10. Take a breath and enjoy the journey
Perhaps the most important tip of all. The portrait experience you are sharing with the ones you love is such an incredible thing. Take the time to reconnect, be completely present for one another, laugh like crazy, turn off your cell phones, notice the things you love about each other that you might take for granted, and look forward to seeing your amazing family on your walls for years to come.