Tips For Stress Free Family Photos
Fall is here! Along with apple cider, sweaters, boots, hot beverages, and all things pumpkin, this is the time of year for family photos! While as a mother and photographer I looove this time of year, I know it can be a tad stressful to prepare for family photos. Uncooperative kids, an unwilling husband, picking out outfits- it can be a lot.
BUT having the unique perspective of mother and photographer, I want to share some helpful tips to make for stress-free, smooth family photos!
Plan around nap and meal times!
If your kids are still taking naps, plan your photo session after nap time! All the bribing in the world will not make a tired, grumpy child cooperate! Save yourself the stress and the photographer the hassle, and try to schedule your session when your babe is well rested.
Lower Your Expectations
I think this is one of the biggest ones! I know with Oliver and Zoey, we might get about 5 good minutes of them looking at the camera and *possibly* smiling. If you have a 2 year old- do not expect him or her to cooperate for a full 30 minute session. Honestly, don’t even expect to have multiple photos of everyone smiling at the camera. With little kids, I think it’s best to expect more of the candid, lifestyle shots. And for that, see the next tip!
Communicate With Your Photographer
This is important. Y’all, there are so many photographers in your city. Make sure to find someone who has a style you want, not just with editing, but with types of photos. For example, if the photographer you book only shows photos on their website of posed families looking and smiling at the camera, it can be assumed that they don’t do much documentary style photos. And how well is that going to work for your family?
Once you choose your photographer, just communicate about what you’re looking for and let them know a little bit about your family! Is there a song that your child just loves? Tell them! Do you really want interactive prompts for natural looking photos? Let your photographer know what you’re after! This will ensure you’re getting what you want, and it will also help your photographer be efficient with his or her time.
Pick Mom’s Outfit First
One of the biggest sources of stress for families, particularly moms, is planning the outfits. A lot of photographers may have style guides to help in this, but lemme give you a tip. Start with mom’s outfit. Generally Mom’s outfit is more detailed, and she’s a little pickier. Let mom pick what she likes and feels confident in, and plan the rest of the family’s outfit around that. Use the same color throughout the whole family (in different ways) so that the whole look is cohesive, but you’re avoiding the 90’s matchy-matchy look.
Ok, this is just a suggestion. Consider bringing either a friend or family member who can help with the kids. Bringing someone who can help get kids’ attention behind the camera is so helpful. And bonus to this- that person can hang out with the kids for a few minutes so mom and dad can get some couple pictures. I love these and always try to get these during family sessions, but it can be tricky if there are young kids who need to be watched.
Try to Make It Fun For Your Family
My most important tip! I’ve seen so many families stress out about photos. Dad can usually be pretty apathetic, and the kids are typically bribed before it even starts so they’re just ready for their prize. Remember above everything, this is an opportunity for your family to unplug and spend quality time together. It’s time to interact and giggle and snuggle and kiss and just enjoy each other. Relay this to your family, and help them get excited versus dreading it! Make this about fun family time, not cheesing for a camera. You’ll notice a difference in your family’s attitude, and most likely a difference in you final images, as well!
And, y’all- pockets! Shop all their women’s long sleeve tops for your photo ready outfit!
I hope this was helpful and will give y’all some room to ENJOY and HAVE FUN with your family photos this fall! I’d love to hear if you have these done every year!
Have a phenomenal day!