If you’ve booked your family photo session or have been considering booking one but are feeling a bit intimidated I’m here to help! I have been a family photographer in Calgary and Vancouver for 5 years and would love to share some of my experiences with you.
My first piece of advice is to research your photographer. This may seem obvious but you should choose a photographer that has the editing and posing style that you’e attracted to. If you don’t love the photos in your photographer’s profile then you probably won’t love yours when you get them back. If you love a light, airy style that is posed with everyone smiling at the camera then I’m probably not your girl. I like to keep it real. Those in between, everyday moments are my favourite to capture. I love the chaos and messiness of having kids and believe that when yours are grown you’ll cherish those photos of them tickling each other or pouting in the corner more than you will a contrived photo of everyone fake smiling at the camera.
My second piece of advice is to just relax and have fun at your session. If you’re stressed out trying to get your kids to behave or nagging at your spouse to fix his shirt then that’s what I will be taking photos of. Its my job as your photographer to straighten everyone’s outfit and make your kids laugh. I’m a mama of two so I know how it goes. Kids are adorable no matter what they’re doing so just make sure that you’re looking your best and have a smile on your face and I’ll take care of the rest. They might freak out or hide their face from the camera and that’s ok. I’ve seen it all. Kids are my jam. I think I’ve watched every episode of Paw Patrol so I definitely have something to chat about that will get them to open up. Also, the promise of a treat after always seems to work. No judgement here, bribe them with something special. They also feed off of your vibe so if you’re nervous or uptight then they feel that as well. The more that you’re interacting with each other as opposed to me the better your photos will be. I’ll give you some cues to make the whole family feel comfortable. To avoid a meltdown make sure that everyone is fed before your session. Also, when we’re scheduling your session take into account naptime and bedtime. If your little one usually naps in the afternoon then an afternoon session is probably not a good idea.
My third piece of advice is to put some time and effort into choosing the whole family’s outfits. Again, this might seem obvious but I’ve literally had a dad show up in sweats and a ripped tee while his wife was in a dress and kids had bow ties on. You’re investing your hard earned money in hiring me to take your photos so you want to make sure that you’re looking your best. If you’re not loving your outfit then you won’t love it anymore when you see it in photos. This doesn’t mean that you have to get fancy but you should consider that everyone is wearing complimentary colours and patterns and that everyone feels comfortable with what they’re wearing. If you had to force your kinds into an itchy sweater or shoes that are a size too small you can guarantee some whining. I always tell my clients no active wear (I’m taking to you Sweatpant Dad!), no logos (in my opinion logos cheapen your look and also take the focus away from your beautiful faces). In the winter when the landscape is neutral I suggest vibrant jewel tones to make you and your family pop and in spring, summer and fall when the landscape is more colourful I suggest neutrals to make you stand out. When you book your session I always include a link to a Pinterest inspiration board to help you plan your outfits.
Now that you look amazing and are having a blast with your sweet family the photos will be awesome!