How to Make the Most of Your Family Portrait Session
Updated: Mar 22
Here are some tips to have an awesome portrait experience with your family.
Tip # 1: Embrace the Chaos!
Your kids can do no wrong. I repeat: your kids can do no wrong.
My focus as an emotive, storytelling photographer is on capturing candid interactions and the unique personalities of your children-- not fake, forced smiles. Please refrain from asking your children to smile at my camera, or stress the importance of "being good" at our shoot. Yelling at your kids, threatening them, telling them "no" are all ways to spoil an otherwise jolly meadow romp or beach sunset. Kids will be kids, and while we might wipe their faces and comb their hair before a photoshoot, they are bound to have played in the dirt, splashed in the creek, and rolled in the grass by the end of it. I don't mind a little mischief if it's all in good fun and, as a mother of four, I have plenty of experience redirecting.
Instead of coaching, scolding, or bribing, prep your kids for your family's portrait session by emphasizing that taking pictures is going to fun and trust that I'm going to capture some awesome memories for you no matter the mayhem!
My goal is for every photoshoot to feel like a little adventure. Your family will not only be connecting with nature, but also with each other. I love cozy, snuggly shots of my families, and I also love shots of light-hearted play. We will be doing a lot of both during your session.
Tip # 2: Bring Only the Necessities, Leave the Rest!
Only bring items to your session that you want to be apart of your photos. This means that if your child's favorite stuffed animal leaves the car, be prepared for it to end up in every photo with your child. Same goes for snacks. Hide them well, and try not to bring them out until the end of our time together. While I recommend that all bellies are full before we start our session (even mama and papa bellies), the best snacks to bring are those that can be eaten quickly and create minimal mess. Photographer approved snacks include: fruit snacks, apple slices, raisins, and beef jerky sticks. Snacks to avoid: chocolate (a melted mess!), lollipops (take too long to eat!), crackers and cookies (your children will become crumb-bums!), and berries (potential to stain clothing!).
Tip # 3: When in Doubt, Ask for Styling Help!
While styling is not required, I love to help families look their best and it is my pleasure to offer complementary styling guidance to every family that books with me. Even if you are torn between something as simple as "Should my son wear cords or denim?" I am more than happy to help.
The truth is that styling is important. The clothing you choose to wear-- the contrasting fabric textures-- the overall colour pallet-- greatly affects the outcome of the final images I can produce for you.
For instance, my editing style favors a vibrant and rich colour pallet; the emotive subject matter I choose to highlight in my sessions is enhanced by clothing that catches the breeze; and texture will always help to add depth and visual interest.
It is also important that the whole family is comfortable in their clothing choices. While little boys in suspenders and bow ties might be super cute, they rarely are comfortable, or free to play and explore their surroundings in such formal attire. Same goes for little girls in stiff, scratchy crinolines.
I hope you found these tips helpful. Are you Ready to Book you Family Portrait Session?