So the dreaded annual family photo session is coming. If you are dreading it, maybe you are doing it wrong! Let’s talk about ways we can work together to make a smooth family photo session experience for everyone. Here are my five family photo tips for a smoother family photo session.
*Perfection. Moms, I get it, you want the perfect outfit, hair, kids, etc. But, life, well, it isn’t perfect. I don’t expect perfection, so my first tip is to let go of perfection. Yes, that may be easier said than done, but focus on that first. Your children and your partner will feed off of you and your energy. So, don’t run around like a chicken with your head cut off. Don’t get upset, don’t stress, don’t pick on every single uncontrollable details.
*Plan. In order to relax and let go of that perfection, a bit of planning may be in order. But take head, don’t over plan. Things will come up and you have to go with the flow the day of the session. In advance, plan by taking care of the items in advance that will create a day of stress-free fun the day of the photo session. This includes getting hair cuts scheduled 10-14 days in advance of the session. Heads up, if Covid-19 rears it’s ugly head much more, salons may shut down again soon….so maybe get a touch up sooner than later just in case. If you are a mani/pedi person, set that up, too. Oh and the day of the session, definitely don’t over plan your lives. Keep kids on schedule, let them have some down time, don’t book a session the same day as two birthday parties or a day after Disney. Once you book your session with me, a few weeks beforehand, I send a shooting for success guide with lots more tips of how to plan for your session.
*Location. Pick the right location for your family! If your kids hate sand, well, sorry to say, the beach may be out for a year or two. They probably won’t hate it forever. Oh, and if you want your hair not to have that beachy vibe, again, the beach may not be for you. That is okay. It is better to be realistic of your likes and dislikes when choosing your photo session location. If your kids love flowers, let’s do a spring session in the flower fields. However, if you kids feet are sensitive to long grasses, well, that may be out. Perhaps the beach or an urban location will work during this phase.
*Love. Love each other. That means being close, touching. Just being yourselves is enough if you are together. I don’t want to tell you how to love each other. I want you just to be together. Of course, there are times I can remind you of subtle actions to start those natural interactions, because, let’s face it, you aren’t usually being photographed being in these intimate family moments. Just know that at your session, you will be close for much of the session. If your kids need a moment break, that is okay, too. We will have time to let thembe kids and come back to something that will calm or entertain them. That could be singing your favorite song. Or, snuggles, or spinning, or rocking back and forth. Heck, it could be racing each other or dad, if that is their jam, too. These moments don’t have to be all looking at the camera and smiling. No, we will soak up these moments as your kids grow, you will look back on all stages and phases fondly.
*Eat. Yup, it is that simple. Don’t come to your photo session hangry. Period. It is always a good idea to bring a clean snack and some water, too. Honestly, this may be the most important tip. Hangry families don’t usually mean loving, connected family photos! Don’t schedule your session during a normal meal time if it can be avoided and if you holding off dinner until after the session please let the kids have a big snack before you get them dressed! Oh, and if you are bringing a pick them up snack, make it a clean snacks. Ideas include pretzels, applesauce pouches, puffs, grapes, basically anything that won’t spill all over or leave cheese filled handprints, it depends on the kids age for what is right for them. Oh, and adults, don’t forget about you, eat a little something, have a glass of wine beforehand, maybe just not five glasses, although that can be entertaining, too. You may just not want to look at those glassy eyed photos much.
Looking for more family photo tips? Here is a blog post about what to wear as we approach the busy fall family photo session time: http://hamiltoncreekphotography.com/what-to-wear-wednesday-tampa-family-photo-sessions/. If you want details on my limited session dates this fall, make sure you sign up for the Newsletter!