So you've booked your session and you're a bit nervous about it going smoothly, or maybe you're hesitant to book because you're not quite sure how it will go and your nerves are getting the best of you.
Hopefully these tips will help you feel better prepared and ready to get those dreamy family photos that you've always wanted.
You got this!
Choose an open space
Children don't like to feel caged in so when they see an open beach or a vast woodland they feel less restricted and therefore more relaxed. I call myself a "child-led" family photographer which means that I encourage the children to create the narrative for our session with gentle coaxing. This might look like, "Hey Sally! What kind of flowers do you think we could find over here?!". My enthusiasm makes her feel excited and important, but I'm also in control of leading the family into the right light or backdrop for beautiful photos.
More space to run around = happy children!
Don't worry about getting dirty
Once you arrive at your session expect it to happen 'Freely'. That means exploring, sitting in the grass, tickle fights and having fun in the outdoors. Please don't worry about your kids falling on their knees or getting their shoes dirty. Being too conscious of this will prevent them from letting their true characters come through for the camera. That's what we want right? Not stiff and forced portraits...Those days are over! You don't need that stress either mum and dad;)
To ease your nerves a bit, I always start the session with a more "classic" portrait of everyone looking at the camera before they have time to get dirty, leaving the rest of our time for adventures!
You might be tempted to bring your whole household with you incase anything goes wrong but thats not necessary. Pack light!
I shoot in a seamless way from start to finish as the session goes on. This means that I photograph the in between moments.
Having to stop frequently so that you can put all of your bags aside takes way from whats happening naturally. Some of my favourite images are photographed on the way to the next destination.
One small bag that's not flashy is great. Or better yet, bring a few things that you can throw in my camera bag.I don't mind:)
Hands free for the win!
This might sound counterproductive next to the last point but a few things are fine.
It's really common for kids to have runny noses so be sure to have wet wipes on hand for little ones. Also those wonderful crusties in the corners of their eyes...Get rid of those!
Snacks. Kids have a super fast metabolism so a box of raisins or crackers are a quick and a not too messy treat. If you must bring chocolate, make it white chocolate!
Do they have a favourite toy? Don't tell them you're bringing it but have it as backup in case they're fussy and need it for comfort mid session.
Thinking about you scrambling to put a group of outfits together the morning of our session stresses me out!
Make things easier for yourself by planning your families outfit at least a week before the big day.
Coordinate - don't match.
Choosing a neutral tone as a base is always a good start. Beiges, greys, whites are easy to find and can be played up nicely with jeans, knits and jackets.
Add a pop of colour
Perhaps have your daughter wear red tights and mum a red scarf? Or have dad wear a blue beanie and your little boy blue trousers?
Don't blend in
Think about where you will be shooting. If you're in the woods you might not want to wear green as you will blend into the scenery.
I know it's a special occasion, but don't try and pull off a look that's completely different to who you are as a family. Your discomfort will show through in the photos. Be yourselves but wear something that makes you feel good in your skin:)