I’ve had so many emails about booking family sessions lately now that it’s FINALLY springtime in Minnesota so I thought this was the perfect time to share a blog post all about how to prepare for your family session 🙂
This session was one of my favorites. In fact, I’ve loved every session I’ve done with this little family ever since we did a lifestyle maternity session before little Max was born! Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of documenting their family each year and they are some of my clients who just show up and really crush their session every single year. They come with the perfect attitude to have when getting your family pictures taken and I thought I’d break that down a bit and share some helpful tips/tricks in case you are planning you find yourself needing some updated family portraits this Spring or Summer! In no particular order, here we go!
Outfits: Don’t be afraid to mix up colors/prints. I recommend you choose your favorite neutrals to work with first (whites, creams, tans, greys, etc) and then decide on an accent color(s) to pop in. Adding in some different patterns/textures really helps to break up the prints. For instance, for the guys in your life, finding a coordinating flannel,plaid, or button up can be the perfect way to pop in some contrast. I love dresses on mamas and little girls – they photograph so beautifully! I’ll do a separate post sometime to discuss this further, but never hesitate to reach out to your photographer for advice/suggestions, we do it all the time!
– Come Prepared: The worst thing you can do is to show up with hungry or thirsty kids (or husbands)!! Feed them early if needed, but make sure they have something in their stomachs prior to starting and bring water for them to sip on if they get hot. Bug spray is never a bad idea, because, well – Minnesota. If you are worried about wrinkling clothes, etc, just plan to throw on your final pieces in the car! If you have a drooler- keep a bib on as long as possible 🙂
– Snacks: I’m fairly known for always having snacks on hand, it’s sort of my love language! However, some good snack options for kids would be something that won’t melt in their hands (no skittles, chocolate, etc!!) and are quick and easy to chew. Puffs or Cheerios work well for toddlers, smarties are my go to for older kids!
– Bribery: I’m no parenting expert, but sometimes a special promised treat or something for them to look forward to after the session is super helpful if your kids are old enough to grasp the concept!
-Don’t Stress: DO NOT STRESS. Can you tell that I can’t stress this enough?! I know how it feels to worry about whether or not your kids will cooperate and it feels like you only have ONE opportunity with your photographer and if your kids cry the whole time then it’s just been a huge waste and you’ll be devastated. I TOTALLY GET IT, I have three- ahem, spirited, kids 😉 I’ve been there. However, kids feed off of our emotions and they can sense stressful situations which throws them off. It’s totally fine to go over expectations before hand, but I would keep it low key. Make it seem like you are just going to go play and spend some time together, because truthfully, that is what we’ll do 90% of the time. If your kids are absolutely not having it on that particular day, we’ll try for a reshoot – it’s really not the end of the world, but I can’t tell you how often parents leave feeling like there is no possible way we got anything accomplished and then they can’t believe when they get a full gallery of beautiful images!
-Dads, I’m Looking at You: As mentioned above, both parents should come with good attitudes but dads have such an important role on family picture day. Taking pictures is probably not your favorite thing in the world, I get it, and I promise I’m not offended by it. However, the more playful and patient you are, the easier the session goes for everyone. Mom’s anxiety is likely going to be running a little high because chances are, this session may mean a bit more to her, and she’s going to need you to help portray to the kids that this is important, but also to keep it playful for them.
-Final Thoughts: Just have fun. Communicate any worries or questions with your photographer ahead of time so we can address them. Trust your photographer. Cooperate when we ask you to do things that sound ridiculous, it’ll make for some beautiful moments, I promise 😉 Happy Spring, friends!