Family photo session can be daunting, it's true....but they don't have to be! Preparation and communication is key. As your photographer, I will be providing information from start to finish to help create the perfect session. Here are some great tips:
NO SURPRISES - Make sure everyone involved in the session is AWARE they are going to a photo session. Don't think you can leave on telling Dad, cranky Uncle Bill or teenage Teddy until they arrive at the session what is actually going on....because they won't be happy or enjoy themselves...and chances are you won't either. Let them know that you are booking or have booked a family photo session and the sentimental reason behind it. They may not enjoy having their photo taken at this stage but they will love passing down images to loved ones in years to come. Explain the emotion behind it and why it means so much to you and/or other family members. Dusk + Vine sessions are usually nice and quick (around the 45 minute mark) to keep in mind attention spans.
CLOTHING - Start with one persons outfit (it is usually Mumma's) and then pick everyone else's outfit around it (no need to be matching just keep it similar). For example, Mum might wear a neutral toned long dress...Dad could be in dress shorts and a nice button down shirt or tee in similar tones. Big sister could wear a softly patterned (not too bold) tunic and tee while little brother rocks some adorable overalls. Try to avoid logos and patterns that are too busy and most importantly...stick to your own style!
KIDS ARE KIDS - Let's not scare the kids into being angels or not themselves before the shoot because they will be...not themselves. And we don't want your images to reflect that. Let them be them and I will step in and have some fun with them and then tell them now it's time for some photo taking. If we erase the stress from the parents it won't be passed down to the kids (or the photographer).
SENSITIVITY - If your child is shy or has a gift where they need routine, structure or a little help, let them know prior to the session what will be happening. We will be sensitive to them in letting them know everything that will be happening to have a special session. Your pre-session questionnaire will ask you about each persons personalities and gifts so this is where you could let me know if we need to take a little more time with some members.
SNACK TIME - Bring along some non-messy snacks and water to your session. This is great for the super little ones (and big ones) so they don't get hangry.
TREAT YOURSELVES - Use an incentive (let's not say bribery) for after the session in the form of going out for dinner! If you are all dressed up you might as well finish off the evening with a special meal and it might just help get some through the session ;-)
Most of all...RELAX and enjoy the experience!