How to prepare for your family session
I am generally scheduled out 4-6 weeks. Sessions take place either in the morning or evening, the best time for lighting is the two hours before sunset and after sunrise.
What to wear
Have your clothing chosen in advance and make sure that your outfit choices are comfortable. What do your dream family photos look like? If they are soft and elegant you can chose neutral colors with soft, flowing fabrics…. think creams, very soft pastels, oatmeals, light browns, tans, grays, and slate blues. Want to showcase the fun and spunky side of your family? Choose coordinating colors (but not matchy, matchy) with bold accent colors, such as hues of gray with yellow or bright red accents. Adding fun accessories like scarves, headbands, hats, etc. can add a modern twist and sassy flair to your images. One of my favorite resources is Paint the Moon
Day of the session
Give yourself extra time so that you are ready before it’s time to head out that door. Don’t show up to a photo shoot on an empty stomach. I meet many families who come to a photo session with dinner scheduled at the end. If this is your plan, be sure to give everyone a healthy snack before the photo shoot.
During the session
Leave the “cheese” at home. Cheese is for crackers. Step back, and allow me to naturally interact and talk with your children. This will result in natural, gorgeous smiles. Lets capture the true essence of your child’s personality by talking with and coaxing out those smiles naturally and easily. Don’t be afraid to pick up your children and toss them in the air. Give your wife a sweet kiss on the check. Tell your husband how much you love him and appreciate him for being there for your family. Have fun. Laugh. Giggle. Joke. Embrace. Kiss. Snuggle. Play. Doing these things will allow the emotion and true beauty of your family to shine. Many successful family sessions have incorporated an activity that the family loves to do together. This gives you something to do with your hands and feet, engages the little ones, and brings an authentic smile to your face. Ideas include: football, piggy back rides, races, bike riding, hiking, singing, picnics, the ideas are endless. When families are engaged in doing something that they love together, the photographs will be beautiful and authentic. The best photographs are often the ones where everyone is engaged or interacting with each other. Does your child have a special lovie or interest? Those are also great things to include in the session. Understand that not every picture needs to have everyone looking at the camera and smiling at the same time. If you are engaged as a family and loving on each other, your eyes will be on your family members and your smile with be natural. These are the photographs that you will cherish most because they depict your family connection and your love.