Family portraits are so important, and I'm so excited you've picked me to capture your family! This is just a small guide with tips and tricks I have learned throughout the years I've been photographing families. They are here as a help to make sure we capture the best photos that you and your family will cherish for years to come!
Tempering Expectations and keeping those little ones happy!
The single most important tip I can give to someone preparing for family photos is this: Relax! I have photographed families who were very stressed about making sure clothes weren't getting dirty, getting to our shoot on time and that everyone was smiling. We got picture perfect photos, but all my client saw when I delivered her photos was a reminder of how stressful that day was. Try to keep a good attitude and have FUN! That way, when you look at your photos, not only will you be looking at a beautiful photo, but you will also connect those photos with having a great time with your family and enjoying their company! No matter what I do on my end, if you don't enjoy that day, you won't enjoy those photos.
These photos will represent something to you, so lets let them represent a good day spent enjoying your families company. This is important ESPECIALLY for families with young children. Those kiddos will behave so much better for us if we are all genuinely having a good time instead of stressing and constantly telling them to sit, smile, look here, do this, stop that, etc. Here is another hugely important tip for you - kids will mimic your attitude. If you are grumpy and stressed, they WILL misbehave. If you are simply enjoying their company, playing with them, running with them and giggling with them, they will stay in a good mood and we will get some darling photos of you interacting and loving each other, which is better than a stiff, posed photo anyways! I allow the kids to run our shoot and I give them breaks as needed. I would highly recommend bringing a non-messy treat to keep them motivated and happy! Smarties, fruit snacks, non-buttered popcorn and goldfish tend to be fairly clean snacks! The promise of a new toy or ice cream after our shoot has worked wonders before! And what about those older kids and teenagers? Food is the key to many teenage hearts, so promise a nice family dinner if they promise to smile pretty! And do your best to make sure kids are well rested and lets be sure to pick a time that doesn't interfere with naps or bedtime! Make sure the adults and older kids know to STAY LOOKING AT THE CAMERA! There are so many shots where I FINALLY get those cute babies to look my way, but mom or dad or sibling is making a funny face or turned away as they attempted to get the babies attention. Laugh often; This will show your best smile, and keep your cheeks and lips from feeling stiff as well as keeping your eyes natural and less like deer in the headlights.
Don't show up hungry!
Even if you plan on grabbing dinner after our shoot, make sure you have eaten something before you come to our shoot. An empty stomach makes for grumpy people, and we don't want that!
-Consider NOT wearing your desired outfits to drive to our shoot. Kids spill and clothes get wrinkles if you had a long drive. Wear other clothes and plan on showing up to our session a few minutes early so that you can change into your clothes just before we start shooting to keep everyone looking their best!
-Coordinate your outfits but don't MATCH your outfits. Don’t wear the exact same thing. Its not as visually interesting as a nicely coordinated set of outfits!
-Pick colors that compliment each other and keep your colors in the same color palette. If someone is in rich, saturated colors, everyone should be in rich, saturated colors. It will look odd to have someone in rich colors and someone else in pastels. Someone will end up standing out more than the other.
-Avoid big, busy patterns and prints. They will be distracting.
-Avoid words or Logos. Again, they distract from you and our eyes are drawn to the words instead of your beautiful faces.
-Match each other in style. If one of you is wearing casual, you should all be wearing casual. If one of you is wearing Sunday best, you should all be in Sunday best.
-Keep in mind the colors in the scenery of our shooting location and make sure you aren't wearing something that will blend right in or clash!
-Keep in mind the colors in your home! You will want to print and hang these photos on your walls, so don't wear colors that will clash with your home decor.
-Wearing a dress or skirt adds a nice feminine touch to your photos! But keep in mind our location and dress appropriately! We don't want you hiking up a mountain in your nicest dress!
-Wear shoes that will be appropriate for the terrain! Grab your snow boots for our winter sessions!
Hair & Makeup
Who doesn't love having an excuse to get pampered? Having your hair and makeup professionally done for our shoot has so many benefits! First off, it helps you relax and helps you feel pampered! Second, if you use a good artist, they will use high quality products so you don't have to worry about your hair being out of place or your makeup wearing off. Lastly, you want these photos to be a representation of you and your family and last a lifetime, so you will want to put your best foot forward. Having your hair and makeup professionally done will make you look like the best version of yourself and will leave you feeling confident!
A few more!
-Please no gum or mints at our shoot! They make your jaw look funny if I snap a photo mid chew!
-Leave all your keys, chap sticks, phones, wallets in the car! They look funny in your pockets!
-Take hair ties off your wrists!
-Bring chap stick or lipstick to touch up those lips as we shoot!
-If you are going to bring chairs or props, be sure to let me know before hand so I can come prepared with lots of ideas on how to use them!
-In the winter time I recommend you bring handwarmers so your hands stay warm and don't turn red! And in the summer make sure you wear sunscreen and bring water!
-AND DONT BE NERVOUS! Photo shoots are FUN! I PROMISE!