Some people might feel some stress just reading those two words.
Relax, let me give you some tips and tricks so that you are prepared for and know what to expect for your family photo session.
- First things first. Get that session scheduled. I recommend booking at least 1 full month ahead of time, especially when coordinating with adult children. With everyone on different schedules, this can be the most stressful part of the whole experience. You'll need to make sure you have the desired date and at least two backup dates in case your photographer isn't available for your first choice.
- Once that date is in the books figure out the outfits. Yes, start doing this as soon as you've booked. Then, especially if you have young children that are still growing, you'll want everyone to try their outfits on about a week before your session just in case you need to come up with replacement items. Do a double and triple check to make sure you didn't miss any stains or rips that you couldn't see until they were actually worn.
- Now that everyone has tried everything on and you are good to go make sure it is clean and wrinkle-free (remember that any requests to edit out stains or wrinkles will usually equal extra fees and often per photo) Once everything is looking great store them in in a way that they were free from dirt and wrinkles. Remember to let everyone know that those are picture outfits and not to even THINK about wearing them before then. This includes shoes, jewelry, belts, scarves and any other accessories.
- About three days before your session (and every day leading up to the session) start talking with your family (this includes your partner) about what they can expect on picture day and about how they are expected to behave. I will say that I am a big proponent of a good bribe. This goes for your kids and your partners. Look, I don't know what works for your family but whatever it is start preparing with it now. (hey if you do listen and behave we'll go get ice cream afterward) Keep reminding them, but don't do a bribe unless you are fully prepared to follow through.
- A day or two before your session you're going to want to get a tote bag of some sort together with things like snacks ( make sure you don't choose things like Cheetos, Doritos, colored candy, etc.), water bottles, wipes, hairbrush, and other items that you think might come in handy.
- On the day of your session please make sure everyone has eaten, but not too much, upset tummies can make people as or more grumpy than empty tummies, but empty tummies aren't good either. We don't want anyone getting "hangry" either. You'll want to wait to get everyone dressed until AFTER they have eaten and brushed their teeth, to lower the chances of any messy accidents.
- I'll say this again because it bears repeating. If you have young children and they need a snack stay away from foods and drinks with colors (again, editing red punch mustaches will cost you extra money) If you absolutely have to give your children a drink or snack on the way to your session cover them up a bib, towel, drop cloth whatever to help save their shirts from stains or just wetness in general (cause again $)
- Once we are together and the session has started, RELAX, I got you! If you're a family with small children (0-8 years old) remember that I have a background working with kids ( I was a teacher and a daycare provider in my past life before photography) so I fully know what to expect from this age group. I promise you, it's going to be okay DON'T STRESS about it really and whatever you do PLEASE don't spank, slap, or even make the threat to do so. If you (or your partner) does this I will stop your session right then (with no refund) because trust me, there is no coming back from that with a kid. They might "behave" but they aren't going to give you good, happy family photos. It's going to be okay if they get a little wiggly, let them, it's normal. I promise that if you let me do my job, I will get the shot for you.