PHOTOGRAPHY

diane gabriel

Family Photo Session Preparation

Six Tips for How to Prepare for Your Family Photo Session

Does the thought of scheduling a family photo session make you feel uncomfortable?  What to wear?  Will the kids behave?  Where should the photo shoot be held? Family photo sessions are a special event, and we want everything to go smoothly.  Here is a comprehensive list of how to prepare ahead of time.  That preparation will make the session run smoothly.

  1.  First off, decide what type of family photo session you want.  Do you want a relaxed session at home or an outdoor session?  If you choose outdoors, do you prefer the greenery of a park -like location or the beach?  Do you want a studio portrait with props?  So many choices!  But you must choose what feels right for your family.  If you have young children, you probably won’t want to go on a long hike to get to a location like up a mountain trail.  We will talk through the locations and decide what is best for you and your family. Check out more tips on finding a great outdoor location here.
  2.  Next, plan your outfits for your family photo session at least a week in advance.  You will feel so much more relaxed with this out of the way. Your family is made up of individuals with unique personalities, so don’t dress alike. No matchy-matchy!  Today it’s all about coordination.  Choose the outfits to compliment the location that you chose.  For example, you don’t want casual clothes if it’s a formal portrait.  Choose a color palette of 2-3 colors for your family.   Mom should choose her outfit first.  Then plan everyone else’s outfit according to your color scheme. A mix of solids and a bit of pattern is great.  Make sure the pattern or print is not too large or busy.  No logos or graphics.  Aim for timeless, not trendy.  Don’t wear clothing that is too loose.  Form fitting is best. For more tips click here.
  3. Make sure everyone is well rested and fed before the session.  Feeling cheerful is a big key factor to getting great family photo session portraits.  Don’t schedule a photo session at your kids’ naptimes or mealtimes.  Outdoor sessions are best either after sunrise or before sunset.  This is because the lighting is best then.  So if you plan dinner after a sunset session, children might be a bit hungry. Bring snack or drinks for the little ones. Bring snacks that are non-staining!  Things like goldfish, dried fruit snacks, or string cheese are good.  Lastly, avoid snacks like chocolate, lollipops, or fruit juice.
  4. Kids will be kids. Dressing up and staying clean is probably not your kids idea of having fun.  All family photographers have seen their share of kid’s meltdowns.  That’s O.K.  Don’t reprimand them to behave.  Let me interact with them naturally.  Sometimes that’s when you get the cutest expressions. Set no expectations other than fun. Keep the atmosphere fun and light.  Bring bribes!  Be sure to talk to your kids about the session ahead of time.  Hype it up!  Enjoy your time together!
  5.  No need to say “Cheese.”  The best photos of your family are when everyone is interacting together.   Don’t coax them to into fake smiles.  Not everyone has to be looking at the camera at the same time.  Stand close together and show affection. Interact playfully with your children so that I can get candid shots.  The relaxed photos of everyone in the family interacting and smiling at each other are the photos that you will cherish.  Stroll. Sit. Stand.
  6.  Lastly, have fun!  Stress doesn’t photograph well.  Get to your session early so everyone is relaxed.  Allow time for things like bad traffic or trouble parking.  While at your session giggle. Joke. Embrace.  Snuggle.  Play.  Doing these types of things will allow me to capture emotion and the love in your family. Your family photo session will be fun and you will have great portraits!

 

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