Can you believe it’s already Fall? This year has been a whirlwind of emotion, but that shouldn’t stop you from celebrating your family and documenting the memories … even the crazy ones.
I am planning our family session this year and thought I would share some of what I have learned from being on both sides of the camera.
Family shoots can be difficult for moms and photographers. But with the right preparation, you can prepare everyone for a great session. Even dad can walk away saying, “man – that was fun!”
What do your dream family photos look like?
I usually start a Pinterest board and start pinning things that make me happy. Remember, don’t expect to have direct duplicates of Pinterest shots – use them as inspiration for sure. However, from experience I can tell you, the shots that you will love are those that you create with your family, usually by accident. Those are the ones you treasure and remember.
This can be a beast, especially if you have 7 kids like us. Here is what I do, I choose one main piece that I love. Maybe it is one of the girl’s dresses. One year it was a gorgeous burgundy leather jacket from BUCKLE that I fell in love with (man, I love that jacket). Then build around that. For example: a few of the boys might wear plaid and the others are plain. That way the eye is not drawn to any one part of the photo. If one of the boys wear jeans, they all do – pants are a thing with me. They shouldn’t distract but instead add to the cohesiveness of the photo. Remember, people will see your faces and your laughs; they should not be drawn to your pants.
As a photographer, I love evening shoots, about an hour before sunset. I stay away from mid-day shoots for sure. The lighting is a bear.
Try not to stress out (may I recommend some lavender oil? Young Living of course, don’t play with that other stuff… ewww) Eat something beforehand. No one likes a “hangry” wife or cranky child. Plan to have fun and loosen up. Let the kids be kids.
Let the photographer do his/her thing and coax natural beautiful smiles from your kids and family. You do not want to look back at these photos and hear the crying or see the dirty looks. Part of a good family photo is the memories!
This means – mom and dad – look at the camera, no pinching, bribing or threatening. Just let your photographer do his/her thing and go with the flow.
I have been photographing children & families for over 10 years and I can promise you that the perfect photo is not about the light, the clothes or that Pinterest moment. It is about the love, memories, smiles and giggles that will happen during that session. Make it fun, go for ice cream after and let go of any expectations that you carry going into it. I have totally been THAT mom, the mom that made her family feel so much stress going into a session…. here is my story, learn from my mistakes friend!
If you’re stressed, your children will feel your stress and not understand what you want from them. Just enjoy each other, I promise that you will love it, even if it isn’t on Pinterest.
For more tips, tricks & general awesomeness, like my Facebook page.
I truly hope that this inspires you to have fun with your photos and to truly treasure each other, because your family is kinda awesome.
I thought I would drop this here and show you what fun family photos can be!