Families are probably the most difficult, yet most fun lifestyle sessions I do. Probably my favorite. Wrangling up your little ones can be quite a feat but nothing I can't handle. I find myself smiling at the computer as I edit your images because, how can you not smile when you captured little children laughing? However, its not always easy and there are some things you can do ahead of time that will make the session flow so smoothly.
Papas, Dads + Husbands
Listen up. I know you don't want to be here. You're probably not as eager as Mom is. But, I promise you it'll be less painful than you think. In the next couple of years you will be happy we were able to capture you and your family in a way that cellphones just don't cut it.
So please, cut Mama some slack and play along for the time we have booked. I promise you'll look at the images and be glad you had them done.
Mamas, Moms, + Wives.
You got this. You've probably been racking your brain with what to wear, where to shoot. You're probably worried about how the kids are going to act. Stop. Don't worry. You got this. I am here to help. If the kids don't want to listen, don't sweat it. We'll let them run wild and get some fun action shots until they calm down. If you're worried about how you look, don't! You are beautiful and once you see your own smile on camera, you won't care what you looked like. It will be a lot smoother than you think, I promise.
Your kids will be kids. Plain and simple. I won't force them to sit still and expect them to smile on queue. We will let them run free and I promise that will make for more authentic photos. I'll place you, the parents, into place and then I will direct the kids. This way, you will both be ready with a smile once I get the kids to laugh or smile. I have a few tricks up my sleeve that usually work. Allowing me to try and get genuine smiles and laughs will normally be more beneficial. And parents, as a last resort, you can always give a little encouragement with some good ole fashioned bribery. Snacks and ice creams are always my go-to!
For kids who are a little older, try to explain what will take place ahead of time so as to ease any nerves or worries they may have. Preparing them for what will happen can make them less timid. Feel free to explain what the camera does and how it works. I am more than willing to show them photos and even let them take a few photos of you! Remember, I am here to make memories, not just on camera but during the session as well.
What to wear.
This is a big topic I get asked about a lot. I have a whole guide dedicated to this. You can view it with the link below. But in summary, I have learned that neutrals colors gives the best results. Especially when paired with other colors that compliment the whole family such as taupe, beige, grey, and other muted tones. Adding a soft color such as powder blue or lilac or muted tones such as browns or forest greens to a color scheme is also fine, so long as it isn't overpowering. Coordination is probably the word you should take away from any of this, if nothing else. Make sure there is a purpose to the colors and style that everyone wears.
Other things to consider avoiding would be: baseball caps, bold patterns and/or jewelry, logos/wording, and bright or fluorescent colors. If you need help with choosing outfits, I am always happy to help!
There will be poop.
And pee, spit up, crying, and all the other glamorous things that happen when babies are around. We expect it. If we are doing a newborn session, we plan out at least two hours of shooting to give time for feedings, diaper changes and just fussing. There is no need to feel rushed at these sessions. Keeping everyone around calm is key to having a successful session. Things to keep in mind...
- I like to schedule newborn sessions within the first 2-4 weeks from when they're born.
- Babies will cry. They will fuss. They won't be happy being handled. It's quite alright. We'll take as many breaks as baby needs.
- Making sure baby is fed prior to the session can help keep babies sleepy. Try to plan a good feeding 20 minutes before I arrive. But don't stress if baby won't eat.
- We will schedule the session around the babies schedule. Whether it be early morning or in the afternoon, we will find the right time.
- I understand that during the first few weeks, your house will be less that spotless. And I'm not here to judge (I've had two of my own so I know), but keeping the areas we will be photographing in organized can make a world of difference. It doesn't have to be spotless, just uncluttered.
- Another way to keep baby happy is to keep your home warmer during session. Chances are we'll be photographing your little one in a diaper or naked. They will get cold. I don't mind sweating if it keeps baby happy.
- If you have other children present for the sessions, that perfectly fine. We can do family shots as well.
Every baby is different and go through different phases as they grow. We will work around the baby's wants and needs to get amazing photos.
Extended Family Sessions
Extended families are always so fun to shoot. But I call them "mini weddings" because there is a lot going on and half the time everyone is talking and not paying attention. Something that will help me keep the group a little organized is by sending me a family members Photo List with names. This way I can call names out and keep people near by to get the session moving along. You can set up which ever poses you want with whoever you want. I just request that we have written down so I can use it during the session. Below is an example.
Smith's Family Photos
- Bob and Margaret
- Original Family (Bob, Margaret, Ariana, John, and Betty)
- Original Family with Spouses (Bob + Margaret, Ariana + Bill, John + Sally, and Betty + Ron)
- Grandparents and Grandkids
- All the ladies and girls
- All the boys and guys
- All the grandkids (14)
- Girl cousins
- Boy cousins