Family sessions can feel stressful especially when we have a false perception that EVERYTHING must be perfect. And I hear you, but I am also here to tell you that as much as you think you want perfection, your soul is craving the imperfect...you desire to see reality. It’s ok to feel nervous about your family session, we all are! But trust me when I say the beauty of living is found in the unscripted moments we cherish most because they speak to our most authentic selves.
Tip #1 FOODDDDDDDDDD
Make sure everyone has full bellies before the session this will most certainly help your little ones stay calm for longer. Another excellent idea is to have a non-messy snack on hand. Chances are your photog will also have a messy free snack, but it’s always good to be prepared. Some great snack options are teddy grams, fruit chews, or fruit.
Tip #2 Rest It’s impossible to make sure everyone is completely rested before your family session, but it certainly helps. So if you can convince the littles to nap or just relax before the session, this will help immensely!
Tip #3 Plan a 15 Minute Buffer Time
Planning extra time into your schedule might seem like a no-brainer but let’s be real with ourselves how often do we actually plan this out? If you know your session start time is 5 and travel time is 30 minutes, plan to leave your house no later than 4:15. This will help ensure that you have some wiggle room if disaster strikes 5 mins before you are supposed to walk out the door! No worries, we have buffer time. If you are thinking 15 minutes isn’t enough extra time, plan for half an hour. **Chances are your photographer has built in some wiggle time, but you want to be on the safe side!
Tip #4 Let the Photographer do the Worrying
Your child is in the midst of a melt-down, or your pre-teen boy is moody and doesn't want pictures taken? It's ok I got you! It is my job to navigate these tricky situations. Remember when I said the imperfect is the perfect moment to photograph because those are the moments we cherish most? Well, I meant it. You have hired a professional photographer to preserve your family at this specific time in your life. Whether things are peachy keen or you have a "threenager" on your hands, it's my job to work with the dynamics of your family to capture those heartfelt moments. Let me do the worrying!
Tip #5 Have Fun
It's no secret getting your family photos done each year is often met with a rolling of the eye and plenty of hair pulling, but it doesn't have to be that way! That's because most family sessions are boring and unnatural. Sitting awkwardly with everyone smiling at the camera is the last thing you should be doing during your family session! Think of all the ways your family interacts and connects. Do you play jokes on each other, have tickle fights, or give sweet Eskimo kisses before bedtime? These are the moments we want to freeze in time. To never let them slip through our fingertips. The more fun we have during your family session, the more these moments will come out naturally so enjoy your time.
Still reading?! Awesome! I am LeeAnn, a lifestyle family photographer based in Pittsburgh, PA. I photograph families in the comfort of their own home to capture each family's unique realness. Nothing beats the comf