You've been thinking about it all day....well....if you're being honest, you've been thinking about it ever since you booked. You've worked all day to keep moods lifted and the atmosphere light. You've casually mentioned the photoshoot to your people throughout the day, in attempts to not make it a big deal but also to make sure everyone is aware of how much this means to you. You're on edge. You're nervous your expectations won't be met and you'll be thoroughly disappointed with the photos. Wasted time. Wasted energy. Wasted money.
I get it. I've been there and am embarrassed to admit all of the threats and bribes I've given my children in an attempt to have my expectations met and have beautiful photos of my family in the end. Now that I'm on the other side of the camera, though, I have an entirely different perspective on photo sessions. I hope these tips below help you have an enjoyable session experience where everyone enters and exits smiling and relaxed.
1. Make your photoshoot the big outing/event for the day.
If you've been running errands all day, just come from soccer practice or swim lessons, and your kids (and you) are running on empty, they're going to melt down right at the time of their session. Whether this is an in-home mid-morning newborn shoot with siblings, or a golden-hour session right at bedtime, make it the main event of the day and try not to schedule anything else. Shift nap times, meal times, etc. so that your kiddos' tanks are on full by the time you arrive.
2. Celebrate family time, not smiles.
Rather than encouraging smiles and good behavior (which, let's be honest, that's the main thing we stress about at photoshoots right??), celebrate that this is special family time. Maybe you'll go out to eat afterwards or get an ice cream cone, but focus on the family time you're excited to have, not the perfect behavior you're looking for in your children.
3. Focus on your love & affection for your family members, not their behavior.
I get it, you are paying good money for high-quality photos and we don't want to end up with sour faces and angry kids staring back at the camera. But I guarantee that if you are focused on showering your family members with the love and affection you feel towards them, that will show through in your photos and how can you be disappointed with that?!
4. Have "must-have" photos in your mind, but let yourself be surprised.
There are always those photos you just have to have. Mama with her kiddos, a big family group hug, a few snuggly pictures with your baby. It's important to let your photographer know your expectations prior to the photoshoot, but don't get hung up on these must-haves. In my experience-both with photos I've taken and photos taken of me and my family, when your mind is off the camera and focused on loving your family, the results are beautiful! I've been so surprised by what photographers have captured that I didn't even have in mind but came to easily be my favorites.
5. Enjoy and have fun!
This doesn't have to be a stressful yearly/quarterly/once-in-a-decade event. The main purpose of a photoshoot is to capture your family in this season, just as you are. Be yourself. Love your family like crazy. And your photos will be amazing because that's what your family is-amazing!
I hope these tips have been helpful in preparing you for your session, or perhaps they have made you not so fearful of booking a session! If you are interested in booking, you can click here. I look forward to capturing your family in this season of life!