Choose your clothing carefully.
How do you picture your family photos in your mind? Do you prefer soft pastels, strong bold colors or something neutral with a splash of color to “pop” in your images? Creams, soft pastels, oatmeals, light browns, khakis, grays and slate blues are more neutral. Bold colors are a great option, but try to stick with one common color. Choosing coordinating colors does not require that each person’s clothing match exactly. Mix bold accent colors, such as hues of gray or khaki with yellow or bright red accents. Adding fun accessories like scarves, headbands, hats or jewelry can add a bit of flair to your images. Have your clothing selections in your possession and make sure your clothing choices are attractive and comfortable well in advance of your session.
Be well rested and well fed.
Please don’t interrupt your child’s nap time. Little ones will behave more like themselves when they are rested. The best time for lighting is the two hours after sunrise and the two hours before sunset. If this is a bad time for your children, talk with your photographer. Adjustments can be made in setting and lighting to accommodate for your perfect time of day. Don’t show up to a photo shoot on an empty stomach. If you plan to have dinner after your session, be sure to give everyone a healthy snack before the photo shoot.
Allow plenty of time to get ready.
Moms are often sacrificing their “getting ready” time to make sure everyone else in the family is looking their best. Leave plenty of time for showers, baths, dressing, and grooming. When a family shows up to a family photo session rushed and disorganized, it sets the tone for a rushed and disorganized session. Give yourself extra time so that you are ready before it’s time to head out the door.
Ask the dads to be cheerful participants.
Dads, photo sessions might not be your favorite thing and it might take you away from your weekend plans temporarily, but please cheerfully participate. I know that many dads dread the family photo session as much as come children do, but dads, please understand how important capturing your family is. Family photos are treasured forever and they are so important. Once you see your happy wife and amazing photographs, you will be so glad that you gave this time to your family.
Help capture the true expressions of your child’s personality by talking to them, singing to them or making funny faces to produce natural smiles and laughter. Getting your child to say “cheese” doesn’t always make for the best grin or expression. If your child isn’t giving in to your smile tactics, step back, and allow the photographer to naturally interact and talk with your children. Hopefully, the child will come around and your little ones expressions will result in natural, gorgeous smiles.
Have fun with at your session.
Pick up your children and toss them in the air! Kiss your wife on the cheek. Tell your family you appreciate them for being there for your photo session. Laugh. Giggle. Joke. Hug. Kiss. Snuggle. Play. Tickle your children. Doing these small, meaningful things will allow the photographer to capture the emotion and true beauty of your family.
Incorporate items that you enjoy doing together as a family.
Do you love to read together? Bring a few books. Does your family love ice cream? Grab some ice cream cones or make a sundae to add a little lagniappe your session. Is family game night part of your routine? Plan to play a round of your favorite card game or board game during your family photo session. Playing football, giving piggy back rides, running races, riding bikes, hiking, singing and having picnics can be all part of the fun and character of. When families are engaged in doing something that they love together, the photographer will have the opportunity to take some beautiful and authentic photographs.
Not everyone has to be looking and smiling at the camera at the same time.
Some of the best photographs are often the ones where everyone is engaged or interacting with each other. Understand that not every picture needs to have everyone looking at the camera and smiling at the same time. If you are engaged as a family and loving on each other, your eyes will be on your family members and your smile will be natural. These are the photographs that will depict your family connection and your love.