Hi everyone! I'm here, as a photographer, to give you some tips on how to make your family photo session go as smoothly as possible, remove the stress, and leave both your family and the photographer with a feeling of satisfaction at the end of it all. It's quite simple really. Let's get started with….
1. Book with plenty of time
Of course, this isn't to say that in a situation where your photos are time sensitive you can't make that work, because of course you can! Don't be afraid to message and check for last minute availability, because we can often fit you in. As a rule, however, you generally want to book your session at least a few weeks ahead of time, this way nothing feels rushed and you have plenty of time for communication between you and your photographer to work out the feel of your session.
2. Choose outfits that will stand the test of time
Wear clothes that you feel good in and that reflect who you are as a family. I wouldn't recommend that you wear matching outfits, but instead coordinate your clothing to represent each individual, while still having a color scheme that works well together. If you are still unsure what to wear, ask your photographer for advice! We are always down to give a bit of insight and usually are well informed on what colors work well for certain locations and situations.
3. Choose your location
Choosing a location for your shoot is usually a relatively easy step. While it is important, I have found that you can get great shots nearly anywhere.. As proven by the ever so popular “ugly location photo shoot challenge”. My favorite go-to is a local park or other open, outdoor location where we have plenty of pleasing scenery and room to move around. But again, any location can be utilized for wonderful photos as long as the family is together and having fun, so don't limit your options!
4. Give your input!
These photos are for you, we are just here to facilitate your needs. So, if you happen to be browsing Pinterest and come upon a pose that you'd love to try for your family, email it on over! We will gladly interpret it as best we can. If you have props or certain items that you would like to incorporate, such as a meaningful personal item, it can add an extra bit of sentiment to your session. Communication is key and we want you to be completely satisfied.
5. Don't put all of your focus on the camera and the photographer
While we will likely being doing a few posed group shots with big smiles at the camera, our main job is to capture the bond and connection between you and your family or loved one. Our camera isn't your family, so feel free to look away from it and give us some genuine moments! Kiss your babies little cheeks, hold your spouse, tickle, play, show us the love. That is what we want to give you to hold on to and those are the memories that you will cherish later.
6. Let the kids be kids
You spend all of this time choosing the perfect outfit, doing their hair, and preparing them for the nicest shots, and all they want to do is jump around, run through the weeds, and tumble on the ground! As a parent, I know how frustrating this can be. But as a photographer I can tell you that the candid craziness of childhood makes for some of the best shots! I tend to make it a habit to get the dapper, posed shots out of the way first and foremost, this way you get those perfect hair and clothing shots right out of the way and the stress can pass. This way the kids are free to play and explore their environment, while I follow them around taking beautiful and real candid shots. It also has the added bonus of real smiles and fewer meltdowns. (Side note: A photo shoot can often be uncomfortable and stressful for little ones as well. A good photographer can get great shots from even the grumpiest of children, so don't worry if your little is not a ray of sunshine at first.)
7. Ordering prints and products
These days most photographers will provide you with a USB or some other digital version of your photos for online use and storage. Don’t forget that we also offer professional-quality prints and products! You can find most photographers print pricing sheets can be found right on their websites, and often you can order prints directly from your online gallery. These prints will look SO much better than anything you get from a retail printer. I suggest you at least get your very favorites printed to hang on the wall from us directly. Physical prints are a great thing to have for the future.
8. Common courtesy
While you pay for the photos and retain rights to your photos after purchase, we highly recommend that you do not further edit or filter your photos after receiving them. These photos are a representation of your photographer and their work, and any edits done post-photo delivery will not be a proper representation and may be detrimental to our reputation. Even if your edit or Instagram filter looks good to you, it may give potential future clients a false sense of our photography style and that can cause issues. So please, leave the editing to the professionals and, if you prefer, ask your photographer for any changes that you would like made. We will not be angry, we will be grateful and happy to provide you with a satisfyingly end result.