Photography is meant to capture memories and moments as they are. I'm a firm believer that when you look at your photo gallery, whether it's your wedding, or a family or engagement session, you should remember how you felt that day as you scroll through your photos. Family sessions can be tricky and sometimes they end up being stressful, but it doesn't have to be that way! Your session should be a fun time and another memory to add to the books. Below are a some tips for a family session that will hopefully ease any worries you may have.
1. Before booking your family session, I recommend thinking about what you want to capture during your session. What does your family enjoy doing together? Do you like to bake together or go on a hike? Think about what represents your family best and do that! . If you're wanting to do an in home session baking cookies or maybe some formal photos at your local park; whatever it is, do it! Your session should showcase you and your family.
2. One of the most common questions I get is, "What should we wear?" and I always respond with "Whatever is most comfortable and you." The more comfortable you are in your clothes, the better you will feel and the better your photos will turn out. If you're a jeans and t-shirt type family (like my own), then that's what you should all wear. Clothes don't have to match, they can just coordinate together! I do recommend not mixing patterns, but as always, if you have questions you could always reach out!
3. I'm a mom, so I totally understand that kids can be unpredictable when a camera is in their face. Younger kids typically don't like to sit still for photos; that's why I like to do a bunch of fun prompts and movement. Kids have so much fun when I tell them to run around mommy and daddy or to tickle each other. I've found that those prompts capture so much more true emotion than any formal photo ever will.
Sometimes your kiddo might have to hold on to a special toy during the session (I've been there!) and that's totally okay. Your family session is capturing your family as it is now, in this specific moment. One day, your kid will grow up and probably not be so obsessed with that toy anymore. You'll be able to look back at your photos and remember how much they loved that toy and their personality at that time.
4. One of the hardest things about photos is figuring out what to do with your hands. Anytime I am in front of the camera, I think the same exact thing! If you're unsure or feel like you have a hand just hangin out awkwardly, the best thing to do is to hug or put your arm around a family member. You can also put your hand in your pocket, hold hands, or have tickle fight!
5. Don't stress about what to do! During sessions with me, I basically talk the whole time and will give you prompts. You might feel silly doing a prompt, but I recommend trying it anyway. It may turn out to be one of your favorite photos.
Family photos don't have to be super formal; they can be whatever you want them to be. And hey, if you like those formal photos, that's cool too! Just remember to relax and have fun; we're making memories!