I love to photograph family sessions. I love to see the connections and interactions between the family dynamics and capture the love ever present. However, family sessions can be one of the most stressful sessions for the parent. Here are some tips to help make that day a success.
BOOK A CONSULTATION: Consultations are a no charge/no obligation time for us to go over pricing, clothing, questions, etc. Here are some examples of things we will discuss.
CLOTHING: Clothing can make a big difference in how your photo turns out and because of this many people have questions about what to wear. It does not matter whether there are three people in the photo or thirty, clothing can come into play in important ways. Single Color: The first thing you need to do is pick a color tone. The color does not matter (although I would stay away from florescent) but all clothing should remain in that tonal range. If everyone is wearing blue and one person chooses to wear pink, that person will become the sole focus of that photo. The blues do not all have to be the exact shade to work, throw all of the clothes onto the bed. Does anything stand out? Get rid of it and choose something else. More Colors: Some families want to use different colors. Perhaps they want to separate boys from girls or one family from another. This is great. Choose colors that coordinate and again, match the tones within each color. For instance: blues and greens are lovely together. Purples and reds are not. One last note on color, all black or all white look great.
Be sure to check pant length. If everyone is wearing jeans and one person is wearing shorts all the viewer will notice is that person's legs.
Remember: consistency is the key!
Clothing is why the consultation is important. Bring in some samples and we can go over them together.
WHAT TO DO TO GET READY FOR THE BIG DAY: Have a plan! Let everyone know the color of clothing they need well in advance of the photo session. The day before is not the day to be shopping for or choosing your clothes. Get any haircuts done a week in advance. (This prevents anyone being upset if they received a bad haircut the day before). Tell everyone a time to be there. Do you have people that are consistently late? Tell them to be there thirty minutes earlier. Let me know of any dynamics that I need to be aware of in advance. Is there a special needs child? Can Grandma not stand for very long? Does your son not get along with the step dad? We can come up with a plan together to ensure that the session is successful.
Have a plan for what type of photos you want. Do you want a portrait for above the mantel? Perhaps you have a particular space in mind. Let's talk about that during your consultation. It helps me to know if you are going to want the photo hung horizontally or vertically.
SMALL CHILDREN: Do NOT practice your child's smile!! Nothing guarantees a fake smile like the practice of smiling. Simply tell your child you are taking them to go play at Miss Amy's house. Do not turn this into a job for them where they will be required to perform. Let's make this fun!
TIME OF SESSION: If you think your child is misbehaving, just leave it alone. Believe me, I have seen worse. I will handle your child. If there is something I need you to handle I will ask you. I do not want the child being fussed at or made upset. Want to know the best way to derail your family session? Yell at your child to "smile". Remember, we are playing and this is fun. Just keep repeating that to yourself over and over. Because I want it to be fun there will be times the child may get a little rambunctious. This is fine. This is good. I will handle.