Family portraits are such a treasure but unfortunately many people resist getting them done because it sounds overwhelming. When you imagine the process all you can think about is crying babies, complaining kids, a disgruntled husband and exhaustion. It doesn't have to be that way! Let me tell you some steps you can take so that the next time you think "we really need new family pictures", you can be excited and not horrified!
Step One: Choose Your Photographer Carefully!
When you choose a photographer for family portraits you really want to make sure they know what they are doing. You want someone who is an expert at getting those kids to have fun while also following directions! You want someone who is not intimidated by managing a dynamic family but has enough experience to get images that capture every personality. As with any photographer, make sure you check out their portfolio to see that you like their style and that they have plenty of experience photographing what you have envisioned.
Step Two: Location!
After you choose a great family photographer you can work with them to pick a location. Especially if you have young kids, somewhere crowded or very confined could be really problematic. While downtown may be beautiful, it may be to busy to be able to keep an eye on kids that like to move around. Look for a location with multiple options as far as background, bright natural light, not a lot of foot traffic and a good amount of space. Your photographer should be able to help you choose the perfect spot for your unique family.
Step Three: Choosing Outfits
For this step I think the most important advice is be comfortable! No matter how cute the clothes, if the baby cries the entire time she is wearing them then it's not worth it! Most of the time you want to coordinate and not match. Find colors that compliment each other and avoid multiple patterns. A good trick is to pick mom's outfit first and then base everyone else off of her. Another strategy is to look at your home decor or a favorite piece and base your colors off of that, since you already know that you love it. If all else fails, you can never fail with an all neutral pallet like white shirts and blue jeans, black bottoms and tan tops, or all pastels. Also, you could request and entire session of black and white images! That way color doesn't matter and as long as you don't have multiple patterns, it will look great together.
Step Four: The Day Of Your Session
Bring snacks and drinks. Bring back up outfits for people likely to get messy. Choose a time of day that doesn't interrupt nap or meal times. Relax. Have fun! You did all the planning and preparation, now let your photographer take over! A great family photographer will be in charge of making sure everyone is smiling and looking at the camera! The best pictures are the ones where everyone is having fun and being themselves, so don't try to control to much. Your photographer will focus on posing everyone in a way that compliments body types and allows the kids some freedom. Just enjoy the moment and treasure the fact that you will be able to look back at these memories forever.
If you want to download my free family portrait session guide, click here. This free download has all these tips and more! You can also use this link to book a session or view my portfolio.
Thanks for reading! I hope this guide helps you look forward to your next family photo session with joy!