ok, maybe not the best, but definitely the most fun, the most memorable.
Have you ever had this idea in your head of what you thought your family photos were going to be? You did all the planning, you bought great clothes and you booked the perfect photographer. The day of the family photos comes and everyone is tense. Mom’s hair won’t curl, dad would rather go golfing and the kids feel the tension and just pile on the stress. One thing after another goes wrong and by the time you are done, all you have is an hour of regret and frustration. I hear you. I know exactly what you are talking about. Don’t forget, I am not just a photographer, I am a mom and I have had to learn this lesson too. Trust me when I say, I have learned a lot, not just from my own photographs but from photographing 100’s of families through the years.
This is where the overthinking comes in. We search Pinterest & Instagram and we get this insane ideas in our heads that our images have to be perfect. That we have to be perfect. We don’t. We just have to be us. What if instead of comparing ourselves and constantly wishing that we were more, we just embraced our story, our chaos.
If I could sit down with you, mom to mom and give you 5 tips to really enjoying your family photo session it would be these.
#1 Communicate! Let your family know what you would like to see with these photos and how long they will be. It can get frustrating when everyone is asking, “Are we done yet?” Communicate with your photographer as well and let him/her know what you want ahead of time. Are there any special photos you would like? Do you want more of family or individual? Talk these things out with your photographer, maybe make a list of the important poses, etc.
#2 Give yourself time. Try not to overbook yourself and make everything a rush job. Shoot for arriving for your session 10/20 minutes early. You don’t want to be late and feeling totally rushed the entire time.
#3 Prepare for the crazy. Lay out all the clothes ahead of time, down to the socks and shoes. Be ok with giving the kids some choices. Lay out two shirts you like for your session and let them choose one. Children like feeling like they are a part of the process. This is as much about them, as it is about you.
#4 New is great but maybe not on family photo day. Avoid new clothes that have never been tried on, new untried hairstyles or makeup looks. If you do grab new clothes, just try them on ahead of time and make sure they fit. Take any tags off ahead of time to avoid rips and tears.
#5 Have fun! When you look at your favorite photo, I guarantee you do not see the cost, the clothes or makeup. Those are not what makes a great memory. It is what that photo makes you feel. The memory that looking at it brings back. You will be tempted to micro manage every single moment to get those Pinterest shots, let that go. Instead of creating a Pinterest photo, create a fun memory. That is what will matter in the long run.
Bonus tip! It isn’t about being perfect. It is ok to be you. When your inner mean girl comes out to play, take a deep breath and put her back where she belongs. Remember that your kids will not care about your hair color, your size or how much their shirt cost. They just love you. They will remember your hands, your voice and the way you made them feel.
Look at those smiles. Best. Day. Ever.
If you ever wonder if photographers have bad sessions, I am here to tell you, YES! Don’t believe me, here ya go, #confessiontime!