Preparing for your family pictures.
I am sitting here in the studio working today, and feeling no small amount of pressure for this evenings event. My own family’s pictures are tonight. The outfits are prepped and out on the bed, the kids have been warned about the activity,my husband has promised to be home early, and my photographer has already texted me to ensure me that it will go smoothly. Check, Check, and Check!
Why do I still feel anxious? A multitude of reasons, first and foremost, I know how family sessions can go. Couple that with my knowledge of my children and well, I can force disaster! Secondly, we are shooting in a road way, a seldom used and slow traffic road, but still a road. I know safety first and trust me we will be, but y’all this lane is so beautiful and I drive down it daily to and from our home, it seems an ideal place to capture some memories.
Lastly, there is no small amount of pressure to create images for my family, it’s what I do!
So how does one prepare for family sessions? From a mom’s perspective.
First : Talk to your photographer, find some one who you can work with, and feel comfortable with. Some one who’s style you like and want to see on your walls. I know my style isn’t for everyone and there are fabulous photographers out there that I admire, but wouldn’t want to take my family photos.
Second: Coordinate your clothing. That is the first most common question I get about these sessions. I always say a few key things. No graphics, no bold patterns or prints. Find a common thread and keep it going for every one. For example choose three colors that look nice together, and every family member has at least one of them on their outfit. Take a peek at the color wheel, colors that touch are great, (analogous), Colors that are across the way from one another also look well together ( cross compliments). Bottom line however, make it represent you and your family. If you wear ball gowns and tuxedos all the time please wear them, if your a jeans and boots family, bust them out!
Third: How are my kids going to behave. Second biggest issue clients mention, my kids hate pictures! Well that is ok, mom and dad are stressed and crabby, because they want it to go well. Kids feed on that. I would hate any event that made my mom a little on the crazy side too. My personal philosophy is to keep it easy and relaxed. Not to be pushy or cranky, and to give the children involved a job to do. Simple little things make them feel involved and invested in the process. Also a tip to the parents, unless your child is really being poorly behaved, let the photographer handle them. Kids are always worse for their parents, but a stranger or person they don’t know well will typically elicit better behavior. So let me deal with them, its a nice break for you and I don’t mind, it's my job!
Fourth and Last: Leave Pintrest at home. Yes this website is a great font of knowledge and ideas, and very fun to peruse with a cup of tea in the mornings after your kids go to school. ( I promise I don’t do this, often) However those people are not your people, those families not your family, and while from time to time we can borrow ideas and poses. At the end of the day its about your family, how you interact with one another, and how you are day to day. Those are the memories we are trying to capture. So take a deep breath, relax, and trust your photographer to capture the true you.
Hope this helps all of you out there planning your family photo sessions, and remember I do all of these things too, even though I know better!