Tips and tricks for your best family photo sessions ever.
Holiday photo sessions. Oh, the joy of wrangling your entire family together while getting your man-baby to put on the shirt you bought and promising an ice-cold beverage as a reward. Yes, ’tis that time of year when our social media is bombarded with mini session advertisements and we can practically feel our ovaries tingle with canvas print joy!
Afterall, photos are the gateway to loving reflection and of course, eternal childhood blackmail for wedding days. It is so fabulous to look back at a snapshot and replay that beautiful moment in your mind. The sweetness, the hilarity, or the absolute chaos that looks like sheer perfection as your photographer manages to press click at the exact right second.
It is truly an art form to capture an image where the baby is crying, the toddler is inspecting the infant up close and way personal to see where the shrieks are coming from, and mom and dad are trying desperately to keep it together – yet the photographer makes it look like the Von Trapp family having a merry moment.
Welcome to family photo season, and here are a few tips and tricks to help – and I mean help – make this a fun and enjoyable adventure.
Being a photographer myself, I can tell you the number one thing I always say is to not expect the kids to be perfect.
This is the best part. Kids absolutely MAKE the photoshoot and when they are being cheeky, LET IT ROLL!
Some of the loveliest moments with children are when they are just being themselves and talking to one another or chasing each other. Play with them at the session. Have them tell you their favorite funny story or just get into a tickle fight. Real smiles are the best smiles.
Most photographers will get the traditional shots out of the way first because we know we have about fifteen solid minutes of “listen to the photographer” time before the bribery comes out. Which leads me to my next point.
It doesn’t matter if you have a fifteen-minute session or an hour-long session, snacks are our friend. Do not bring sugary food, as the kiddos get sticky – and something I have learned over the years is that children like being sticky on their own accord.
If it is not on their own time and planning, it goes from zero to ten in a jiffy. I mean, clean up on aisle three level of kid-to-texture meltdown. Snacks like grapes, little cereal bars, or the ultimate photoshoot savior – the Goldfish crackers – are perfect little snacks when the kiddos need a little moment to refocus, or mom simply needs some bribery material. A smile for a grape. A kiss for a Goldfish.
We are not above bribery here, ladies – get the job done. There is wall space to be covered and a Minted discount code just waiting to be used!
Work with your photographer, and never be afraid to ask questions before the session.
I always have folks ask about wardrobe and send me photos of their selections. We work on the setting together and go over color swatches or fabrics that will compliment the mood.
A lot of photographers like to stage a setting for holiday mini sessions, and this is a super cute option. You can see the exact setting and how the props are arranged, giving you a very straight-forward approach on how to dress.
Other photographers may select a specific venue such as a State Park and work within certain areas for the mini session. Be sure to ask where these spots are and if they have a reference photo. Knowing how the light will look during your shoot time at a selected location will help you tremendously when picky out clothing.
Always plan for a spill or wardrobe malfunction.
Shooting outside can sometimes lead to muddy knees or shirts, and I recommend bringing Tide To-Go Instant Stain Wipes or baby wipes with you. This has saved many a photoshoot. Always bring a brush with you to adjust hair if you are working outside – and a small can of hairspray if you have a longer shoot.
Naps are essential.
Before your shoot, make sure if your kiddo is in the appropriate age range that they take a nap. A fresh and wide-eyed prince or princess is so much more agreeable on set, and that is when the cheeky and fun material comes out.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the occasional photo of a sleeping cherub, but oh boy is it interesting during a family shoot. I once had twins and I couldn’t decide if I was going cutie-tonic or of I was highly annoyed that they kept nodding off holding hands.
They were four. Dad couldn’t tickle them before or they would start crying, they were so tired – but when I would try to get a shot they would do the eye flare like, “Get your shot woman” and bam, right back out.
When I looked at the screen on my camera, I would giggle every time because it looked like they were trying to cast a spell on me, their eyes were so bulged open. So, moms, give your littles a nap and save a photographer today. There is nothing quite like feeling like you are in The Shining.
Take advantage of the amazing deals starting to float around for holiday mini sessions! It is a great way to capture memories that will last generations. This is your one get out of jail free card with the husbands to do the family portrait thing, so LUXYMOMs® – get on that train and ride it into the horizon.
Armed with Tide, hairspray, and Goldfish, this will be one of the best holiday photo seasons yet – so book your session and show us your family portraits in Light, Camera, Action!