I get it. I have been there. My own mom used to have us on the beach, in the middle of November, freezing, with kids fighting and throwing sand, only to send everyone home in tears and grounded. (This really happened.)
But it is possible to leave your family photo session without adding grey hair to your head. On the other hand, I can’t promise you won’t be exhausted. This might be a double coffee day.
After 8 years of photographing families professionally I have these tips: (This is not a commercial for my services by the way. I just want you to have a great experience.)
8 tips to keep your session as stress-free as possible
- Choose a great family photographer. Not all photographer’s specialize in working with families. Work with a photographer you are comfortable with and who isn’t stressed by the dynamics of your family or kids in general. A great family photographer will work to keep everyone relaxed and comfortable behind the camera. He/she will also know how to handle cranky and seemingly uncooperative kids. This does take some practice, photographers who regularly do family photos are usually going to be the best fit for you.
- Pick a great time. Schedule a time that is easy for your little kids. Sometimes your photographer will have prefered hours and you will have to plan well in advance to get the time that works best for both of you. In other words- don’t wait until the last minute to get your session on the calendar.
- Feel good about what you are wearing. Mom’s I am talking to you. Pick your outfit first! I know you won’t want to, but take it from me- put yourself first and the results will be fantastic. I have some tips on what to wear here.
- Keep the peace. Keep your home as peaceful as possible before you leave. Play music, let the kids chill with a movie. It might even be a good idea not to tell them about the event until you have to.
- Take it slow. Allow lots of time to get ready and make it fun. If someone hates hair washes, do it the night before. Mom’s start getting ready long before you need to, and freshen up on your way to the location.
- Keep the pressure low. Yes, it’s an investment. You have to push the cost out of your mind and keep the pressure low or you will stress everyone out. Just relax and your images will be a reflection of your lovely family.
- Let the photographer do their job. Trust them the capture the love and life of your family. Let them direct everyone and be in charge. If they need help getting Gracie to look somewhere they will ask you. As a photographer, my favorite images to capture are the unposed ones, the natural moments.
- Have fun! Laugh. Make memories. Then treat your team to a snack/dinner out after the session is through.
Don’t let another year go without family photos! Schedule them now and let me know how it goes.