The first step is out of the way – you’ve finally booked those family photos you’ve been meaning to have done for the last couple years! Now what? Here are my top tips to help make sure you are as prepared as possible for your shoot, and that you have the best experience as possible during your session!
- Outfit Coordination
This is the #1 topic I get questions about from my clients, heck, even when I have my own family photos done I still ask other people for outfit advice! When choosing what to wear, try to keep your colors in a “color family” rather than all wearing the same color or shades of the same color. Below is a helpful chart of color families that you can draw from. Try to avoid small prints or stripes as they will not photograph well, large prints are okay though. Out of a group of 3-4, I recommend no more than 1 person be wearing a print or pattern. A group of 5+ should try to only have two wearing a pattern, so on and so forth. Too many patterns is distracting to the eye and takes away from your images. Solid colors are best for everyone if possible. Scarves, jewelry, ties, suspenders, and hair accessories can help break up the monotony of solid colors. Sneakers and simple (Old Navy $2 style) flip flips should also be avoided.
- Give yourself extra time
No one likes to be rushed, especially on a big day like family photo day! Schedule yourself at least an extra hour and make sure Mom & Dad are ready before the kiddos so that once they are finally ready, you can walk out the door. Running late to a session can cause stress and tension between family members that will show in your images during your session.
- Prep the kids
Up to a week before your session, start getting your kids excited for family photos! Tell them how much full you’ll have, show them some pictures of other families the photographer has taken photos of, and plan a fun treat or activity to do after your session. I am NOT above bribing. Also, make sure everyone is well-rested and has a full belly before the session. A hangry child (or dad) is not going to be a happy one! Lastly, have them brush their teeth BEFORE they put their outfit on. Even the most skilled brusher is bound to make a mistake on an important day like this!
- Don’t look at the camera
Say what?!? Did a photographer just say that?!? YES!! Your most authentic smiles are going to be when you are looking at your loved ones and having fun, not when you’re being forced to say cheese for the camera. Play, tickle, laugh, joke, tease, run, skip, jump, roll, pick up, hold upside-down, bump hips, hold hands. Get yourself moving and smiling with your family and I’ll be there to capture it all!
- Get dads and grandpas on board
In my experience, the males are typically not as into having photos taken as the females. Some just downright hate it. But the ladies spend hours finding the right photographer, location, outfits, etc. so that the family can finally have some decent photos with each other. Kids pick up on the vibe of the father without anyone noticing. If Dad is in a bad mood and not helping or cooperating, the kids will follow suit, and that’s going to put Mom in a sour mood as well. Men – grin and bear with me for just a few hours. I promise I’ll try to make it as quick and painless as possible…and maybe, just maybe….you might even catch yourself having a little fun!
- Trust your photographer
You’ll probably think I’m crazy when I ask you to talk to each other about your favorite pizza toppings. You may think it’s silly when I ask you to bump hips with one another. Trust me. It’s ALL going to be worth it when you see your images!
Ready to book your own family portraits? Scroll up to the contact form to send me an email and get yourself on the way to beautiful images of you and your family!
Life on Purpose Photography is based in Holly, Michigan and travels all over Michigan for a variety of photography services such as weddings, high school senior portraits, family portraits, newborn photography, and more!