Family portraits can be stressful. Trust me, I know. From planning outfits to getting everyone cleaned up and looking their best, it can be a lot of work just preparing for the session. Here are some tips to help you better enjoy your next family portrait session.
1. Plan your wardrobe in advance and raid your closet before running to the store.
I know it seems like family portrait sessions require the purchase of a whole new wardrobe, but it doesn't have to. Think of the colors you want in your portraits, likely you already have some items on hand that will fit in well. Keep it simple. Look for neutrals or solids you can wear, then accessorize with fun pops of color and texture. Round up a few items of clothing from each person that fits within your vision and go from there. Then you will only need to purchase a few items, if any, to complete the look.
2. Dress your kids in comfy clothes.
That may seem silly, but if your child is fidgeting with tight shoes or is uncomfortable due to a scratchy sweater, they're not going to give their best smiles. You want your kids to be relaxed and happy during the session, a great way to help is to make sure they feel comfortable in what they're wearing.
3. Feed your kids before the session.
I'm a mom. I know how often kids eat, which is constantly. I know how distracted and/or grouchy they can become when they're hungry. My oldest ceases to function as soon as her stomach growls, it's a bit remarkable really. Before the session, whether right before you get dressed or a little snack in the car on the way, make sure your kids have a little something in their stomachs to keep them content during the session. It's also not a bad idea for mom and dad to have a little snack too.
4. Be patient.
Kids will be kids. Family portrait sessions are not typically part of a child's normal routine, so it may take a little while to get them to cooperate. Be patient. Children react to mom and dad's stress, so show them you are calm and ready for portraits. Make it a game. Simon says often works great, or joke and play with them to bring out their best smiles.
5. Have Fun.
Enjoy your family photo session. Play with your kids, laugh, and make memories. Beyond capturing traditional posed portraits, ask your photographer to capture your family interacting and being themselves. They will be images you will look back on in years to come and absolutely treasure.