The number one worry my clients have when booking a family session, is the time of day we begin shooting. In order for me to give you beautiful images when the light is soft and even, I begin shooting about 1 to 1.5 hours before sunset. In the summer months that means we are beginning around 6:30 or 7. As a mom of 4 young kids, I know exactly how rough those "witching hours" are. I also know how much those family photos mean to you. These happen maybe once every year, and we want to make sure our investment has a good return (i.e. smiling happy kids!). Today I want to share with you a few tips to ease your nerves about booking a late evening family session.
Make your Family Session the
Main Event of the Day
Your family session should be the highlight of your day, not a last minute endeavor that you squeeze in. Don't plan a big family fun day on the same day of your shoot. Don't come straight from swim lessons. Don't rush your kids through dinner so you can get to your session location on time. Have a low-key mellow day and make your family session the big outing!
Put Napping Kiddos Down a Bit Later
As a mom, naptime is a sacred ritual in our home. Only on VERY rare occasions do we ever miss it! And the only time I allow car naps is if I know we will all be going to bed early. If your child normally naps from 12-2 and is out like a light by 7pm, consider pushing his/her nap by 30 minutes to an hour. This may be tricky and include lots. of. whining. But you'll be so much happier having a more agreeable toddler later on that night! I recommend NOT allowing your child to nap on the way to your session. This tends to cause them to wake up groggy and take even longer to warm up to me.
Set the Tone of the Family Session as
a Nighttime Adventure
Every so often in the summer we like to take our kids to the beach or up on a hike to watch the sunset. This is always a special treat for them as they typically are in their jammies and reading stories right about that time. Play up your family session as a nighttime adventure that you are all going to go on! Whether you're going to be walking through trails or running on the beach, tell your kids how excited you are to adventure together and take some family photos.
Let Your Photographer Worry About Your Kids'
Behavior & Attitudes (I Got This :)
No matter the age of your child, we all worry about behavior and attitudes. I once showed up to my own family session with my 2 year old completely naked! She had refused to put on her dress and we had driven to our session with her in her birthday suit-ha! That photographer worked her magic though and those photos are some of my absolutely favorite! A good photographer will allow young children to warm up to them, will play games and interact with them, and capture their authentic personality during the session. With my sessions you can expect them to be fun and light-hearted. I do my best to switch up our poses and remain moving during our time together. If kids need to run and get their wiggles out, I will play a game with them or use that opportunity to capture mom and dad together. The last thing I ever want is for a session to end in tears!