5 Tips To A Better Family Session

Let's face it moms and dads, family sessions can be stressful.  And I have a secret. When I finish photographing my own family, I am exhausted. And have even come close to tears by my very own children not listening. I could put together an awkward family photos book of my very own children.  But over the years I have learned several tips and tricks photographing other families that have made my own family sessions less stressful. I hope these will help you.

1. Plan your clothing as soon as your book your family session. You don't want everyone in matching Christmas sweaters (unless your family has a great sense of humor), so when planning clothing think in terms of warm or cool colors. If you are going with warm tones, make sure everyone is in warm colors. You can also Pinterest colors or clothing ideas if you're not sure what tones work best together. And I always have my clients snap shot their outfits before the session to help me plan out the location or a studio background.

2. Make sure everyone is fed and hydrated. It may sound silly. But if people are fed before their session, they will feel better and be happier if their stomachs are full. Its much better to plan to eat (not in the clothing you are wearing for your session) than planning to eat after the session. With that being said, you may want to bring your child's favorite snack to reward them after the session. We also always keep animal crackers, water and other snacks at the studio.

3. Cheese is for crackers. What I mean here is please don't prompt your child to say cheese. It sometimes forces people into a smile. Instead, I try to prompt my clients to laugh naturally. You know, the smile that every parent sees when they look at their child. That's the smile I want to capture.

4. Don't focus on your children. Its going to be instinct to want to prompt your children to look at the camera and smile. But I always finesse my clients hair and if moms look down or move around, then I come back in to finesse hair again. Stay focused on me and let me prompt the kiddos. I find that it takes the pressure of the parents when they trust me to get those expressions.

5. Most of all relax and have fun. Your family session can be a fun, great experience and a fantastic family memory. The bonus is the more relaxed you are, the better the images will be! My job is to get your family interacting and smile.  Your job is to enjoy the experience.  Therefore the pressure is on me to make it happen.  And this takes all the pressure off of you.