Family photo sessions are a great way to capture lasting memories of your family.
But if you’re like most families, the idea of a photo shoot also brings memories of meltdowns, awkward poses, and uncomfortable outfits. Whether you have small children or a large group to work with, there are plenty of things that can go wrong.
If you’re thinking about scheduling a family photography session, check out these 7 tips first. They’ll help you get through your shoot smoothly, and to get great looking photos that you’ll treasure for years to come.
1. Coordinate But Keep it Comfortable
One of the biggest mistakes that you can make when planning a family photography session is getting too caught up in choosing cute, matching outfits.
Matching outfits can be fun. But finding an outfit that everyone, from dads to infant daughters, will be comfortable it can be a challenge. Someone will end up uncomfortable. And if everyone is wearing the same thing, everyone tends to blend into the photo.
Rather than choosing outfits that precisely match, consider choosing coordinating outfits.
Choose a single color scheme, or utilize neutrals to create a coordinating look. You can even take it one step further with a fun print fabric in a scarf for mom, a tee for dad, and a skirt for the little one.
When you aren’t stressing out about choosing outfits that match exactly, you can instead choose something that everyone will be comfortable in, while still looking great together.
2. Choose a Fun Location
If you have younger children with a desire to run and play, trying to stage a photo session in a studio can be a challenge. Kids will get bored, tempers will fray, and the session is more likely to come to a crashing halt.
Instead, consider choosing a fun outdoor location. Shooting on location will give you a more relaxed session. When your kids get bored, they’ll have space to run while you take a break.
Plus, choosing an outdoor location gives you a chance to incorporate a natural landscape, fun textures, or other nice details into your backdrops.
3. Come Prepared
You can never be sure exactly how your kids will be feeling on the day of your family photography session. But there are a few things you can prepare ahead of time to help mitigate any mini-disasters.
One smart idea is to pack an emergency bag that will come to the shoot with you.
Pack snacks and small toys to occupy bored or hungry toddlers. Bring a change of clothes for any little ones that might have an accident or be prone to playing in the mud.
You should also pack a few emergency items for the adults or older children in your group.
A stain stick can help save an outfit. Hairspray and a few bobby pins can fix a messed-up hairstyle. If mom wants to wear heels for a few of the photos, then a pair of comfortable shoes are also a good idea, to keep you comfortable towards the end of the shoot.
4. Take Breaks
When you’re paying for a time slot with your photographer, it can be tempting to keep pressing forward to get the most shots for your money.
But trying to do too much can end up ruining your photos, especially those towards the end of your shoot.
Taking short breaks from shooting can help refocus everyone’s attention and keep little ones from losing interest.
If you’re only doing a short photo shoot, you can still incorporate breaks in a different way to keep everyone relaxed. Instead of stopping the shoot, just ask the photographer if you can take a break from strict posing.
Instead, talk to your kids. Laugh with them. Hug them. All the while, your photographer can keep snapping away.
You might be surprised to find that these are your favorite photos of the whole session!
5. Bring a Few Props
Even when your family photography session is outside, bringing along a few props is a good idea.
Bring your child’s favorite toy, a beloved stuffed animal, a few books, or other small items.
These will perform double duty during your session. They will keep kids occupied when they get bored and will help inspire relaxed and candid photos.
If your kids are young, avoid bringing these props out too soon. Otherwise, you may end up with a whole session of photos full of these props if your kids refuse to give them up.
6. Follow Your Childrens’ Lead
If during your family photography session a child starts losing interest in a certain spot or pose, consider following their lead.
While you’ll want to encourage them to pose or smile for some of your photos, sometimes the best images come from the unplanned moments. These are the moments when your child gets distracted by a plant, wants to climb on something, or is playing.
When this occurs, switch gears. Play with your child or encourage your other children to follow their lead. You’ll get fun, relaxed photos of your family that will look far more natural than any pose you can come up with.
7. Make Sure That Everyone is Well-Rested
The last thing you want to do is show up to your photo shoot with tired, cranky family members. Whether you’re shooting early in the morning or at sunset, make sure that everyone in your group has slept or at least had time to rest prior to your session.
This will make everyone much more cooperative, will help alleviate forced smiles, and will help ensure that your entire session goes more smoothly.
Book Your Family Photography Session Today
Now that you know a few tips that can help a shoot go more smoothly, it’s time to book your own family photography session!
Contact us today to talk about our package options and to book your session. There’s no better way to capture memories of your little ones, your growing family, or of you and your significant others than with beautiful photography.