Everyone who schedules a family photo session dreams of beautiful images that perfectly capture their family - and a painless session to get them. How can you make sure that happens?
Here we go ...
1. Start getting ready early. You really can't start getting ready for your family photo shoot too early. I would start choosing outfits 2-3 weeks before your photo shoot, so you can find the perfect outfits for everyone in the family. Starting early means you can order outfits and accessories online, and even have time to re-order if what you chose the first time doesn't work. On the day of your photo shoot, I suggest that everyone start getting ready a couple hours before you need to leave the house. Getting ready early will allow you plenty of time to blast some music and enjoy the process. The last thing you need to do is be in a stressed out rush to get to your shoot in time. (Remember to limit messy snacks and outside play for little ones once they're dressed!)
2. Don't worry about scouring Pinterest ideas - seriously, just don't. You might be thinking "whaaaaat!?!?", but just hear me out. With any luck at all, you've done some research before choosing your photographer. You've reviewed their work and decided you love it and checked reviews to make sure the photographer is the real deal. If that's the case (and please! please let it be!), come with an open mind, expecting that your photographer has their own workflow and will deliver the same kind of work you've fallen in love with. Those Pinterest photos are someone else's work and no true artist (photographer) wants to recreate someone else's genius!
3. Be kind to your kids (and husband) during the shoot. I pride myself on working well with children. There have been very few times when I truly could not handle a disobedient child. For the most part, I can roll with the punches, and allowing me to do that will make the photos much better! Sit back, relax, and let me hang out with your kid! I promise, no child who is getting yelled at and ordered around by their parent has ever done a great job for their shoot.
4. Feed everyone before the shoot and make sure naps are had by all. Do not ... I repeat ... do not make your family wait until after their shoot to eat dinner. And make good naps a number one priority for the day. A well fed family who has had naps always photographs best! (also, it's a good idea to cut out any big activities the day of your shoot - don't plan to go to the zoo and then have your photoshoot ... bad idea!)
5. Trust your photographer and don't worry about the end result during your shoot. I have had so many parents say things like, "wow! I cannot believe you got these shots!". Even if you think your kids are being horrible ... even if your husband is driving you nuts, just take deep breaths and relax during your session. It's my job to deliver beautiful images you'll cherish and I can almost always do that, even in the most trying situations. Don't allow yourself to get stressed during the shoot, because it will show on your face. Just let me take charge and trust the process.