Getting family photos taken is a big undertaking! There are so many moving parts, and even just choosing a photographer can feel incredibly overwhelming. This family session guide will help you know what to expect and how to prepare your family so we can have the best time possible!
How to Plan Your Family Session
Choose A Location
Where do you feel most at home? Is it in your home or out in nature? Do you want a summer, beachy vibe or do you love to play in the snow? Plan your session at least 3-6 months in advance. Why so far out? Two reasons: 1) so you can ensure you can get on your photographer’s calendar! We book up quite quickly, especially in the busier fall months; and 2) to give yourselves time to plan outfits and prepare for any potential weather. More on that later!
Coordinate Your Wardrobe
That’s not to say you need to spend months looking for matching boho chic outfits; you can easily use things in your closet! But coordination is key — leopard print pants and day-glo sweaters just do not match (unless it’s an 80s theme party; then go nuts). If you’re a full session client of mine, you’ll get access to my styling service, Style and Select, which will help you choose coordinating colours and plan your outfits. You’ll also get a link to buy them, if you’d like, and a discount if you do!
Prepare The Littles
Helping the kids know what to expect is a big help for me! I always walk parents and kids through my process at every session. Some kids are naturally a little more shy than others or may need more time to warm up to a stranger, so begin telling kids a few weeks ahead of time what we’ll be doing. Explain that you’ll be meeting a photographer and that my job is to take their picture. We’ll play games and have fun, show some big smiles, and they’ll get lots of fun pictures to look at whenever they want!
The biggest help for both me and you is to answer my questionnaire! I ask questions to get to know you — are you more active, are you homebodies, or somewhere in the middle? What’s important to remember about this time right now? This helps me immensely to make sure your session is tailored specifically to you. Moreover, it ensures I capture everything you want captured, whether that’s tiny newborn hands grasping yours or big smiles and wild personalities. And if you have a grumpy spouse, prepare them, too! Remember — it’s 45 minutes out of an entire year. I excel at getting even the grumpiest people to warm up, but having everyone on the same page is a huge leg up.
If there’s one thing I assure every single family, it’s that I’ve seen it all. I’m from a huge Irish-American family and I taught preschool; you cannot faze me. I do not expect your kids to behave, but I do expect you to get silly and have fun with them! No matter what age they are, I want to see their personalities shine through. More than that, i want to ensure I reflect back to you all the love you have for each other. And remember: even if it takes the entire session, we’ll get that posed photo for the wall. My sessions are 45 minutes long, which gives us plenty of time to let shy kids warm up, take brain breaks where we need, and even have a snack! If you’re stressed, it’s going to show up on camera, so relax and rest assured that we’ll make the best of any situation that pops up.