First of all, kudos to you for making it a priority to capture your family. Your photos are going to mean so much to you and your kids too. Seeing themselves on your wall or in a beautiful album helps them feel like an important part of your family and helps to boost their confidence.
I also want to encourage you now to plan on being IN some of these photos with your children. I hear all the time, how Mom thinks she needs to lose some weight or Dad hates being photographed, but let me tell you, your kids don’t care about any of that. They want to have photos of you together! These are the photos they will treasure, not just now but later in life as well. So just forget about the camera and come love on your kids while I capture that emotion for them too hang onto forever!
The first step we take when you book your session is to have your planning session. It’s really important for us to get to know each other a bit before picture day. Having some rapport with Mom and Dad helps put young kids at ease.
Your planning meeting gives you a chance to tell me about each child and their personalities, likes and dislikes so that I’m well prepared. I want to help you all enjoy your time together at your photo session. So understanding how your family interacts really helps me capture natural photos and avoid potential pitfalls!
The Right Timing
We’ll pick a time of day that will work best for your kids. Are they most cooperative and happy after their afternoon nap or in the morning after breakfast? I can tell you that for better lighting, I prefer to shoot early in the day or in the last few hours of daylight if possible, BUT if your children are going to be grumpy at those times, we can find a way to do it when it’s best for them.
Tell the kids they’re going too have FUN!
Please don’t stress the little ones out about needing to behave really well or practicing perfect smiles. Just tell them they’re going on an adventure and you’re all going to have a great time together. We’ll be playing games and meeting a new friend (ME!). I’m totally excited to get to know them!
Plan your family photo session with kids around food and rest
Today’s nap (if applicable) is especially important. If our family photo session will run close to their meal or snack-time, you may want to bring a non-messy snack to get them through. We can take a break for that if you need one.
Don’t worry about discipline
Don’t worry about discipline at your family session! Let kids be themselves and help them have fun. Because I feel like it’s more important to capture true personalities then perfect (fake) smiles. I wan to keep the mood light and loving and fun. I’ve got 6 grandchildren, ages 2-11, so I promise I can handle whatever comes our way in the process! We’ll roll with personalities and emotions. If your child is shy, that’s ok! At your planning session, you’ll prep me about each of them and given me tips to help me draw them out or handle whatever is likely to come our way. I truly want this to be a positive experience for you children.
You know your kids best, and if it helps to tell them that when they’re done, they’ll get a special treat, like Ice Cream or going to the park, then by all means let’s tell them there’s a big treat for them at the end, and that they’ll get to it faster if they cooperate.
Save the Cheese for lunchtime!
We won’t have them say “cheese” or ask them to smile on que very much since that tends to invoke that scrunched up face you’re hoping to avoid. Trust me, you ca’t command a REAL smile. It has to happen naturally. So instead, I plan to get you moving and interacting with each other to capture naturally beautiful moments. We might play some games and I’ll give you some prompts to help create a memorable time for you all. In between the warm, snuggly and active moments, I’ll do my best to get a few posed and smiling shots.
Bring along a helper
Parents, let’s not forget to capture YOU! Consider bringing along a friend, aunt/uncle etc… to distract the little ones while we get a few photos of the two of you together!