WHAT TO EXPECT FOR YOUR FAMILY SESSION
You want your Family Session to be a breeze! I totally get it. You and I both want your experience to be as stress free as possible. Take a look at the tips below to ensure that our session is a fun one!
1. Be well rested and fed
Tired and hungry kiddos can make for a less than cooperative session. Please don’t have too many high energy activities planned for the day of your shoot. Our session is right around dinner time, so your kids, and you, might be hungry. Plan ahead and give everyone a hearty snack before and bring some snacks for during the shoot as well.
Kids with full tummy’s are happy kids. :)
2. Give yourself extra time to get ready
Coming to the session feeling rushed and disorganized can set the tone for the rest of the photo shoot. Please give yourself lots of time to get ready and get to the sessions location.
3. Tell your little ones that you are all going to play and have fun as a family
Please don’t set the expectation that they will need to behave for the photo session. Let’s instead tell them that we are all going to play together as a family and that someone will be there to take pictures. Sometimes talking too much about how they should behave for pictures will put added pressure and anxiety. This can then reflect in their behavior and willingness to warm up to me and the whole idea of getting their picture taken.
4. Leave the “cheese” at home
Cheese is for crackers. ;-) Some parents like to stand behind me and try to help by calling out “Say Cheese! Look at the lady and smile!!”. Instead, let me interact with them and let those genuine personalities shine through. If I do need help getting them to relax in front of the camera, I’ll let you know. Think of silly things to say that might elicit laughter and giggles instead of stone faced “cheese” faces.
5. Have fun with your family
Don’t be afraid to pick up your children and toss them in the air. Give your wife a sweet kiss on the cheek. Tell your husband how much you love him and appreciate him. Have fun. Laugh. Giggle. Joke. Embrace. Kiss. Snuggle. Play. Doing these things will allow me to capture the emotion and true beauty of your family. I will also guide you with this, so don’t be surprised when you hear me yell out, “Ok everyone tickle Mommy!” or “Dad, pull your wife in for a big old kiss!”.
6. Remember that not everyone needs to be looking at the camera all the time
The best photographs are often the ones where everyone is engaged or interacting with each other. Please understand that not every picture needs to have everyone looking at the camera and smiling at the same time. If you are engaged as a family and loving on each other, your eyes will be on your family members and your smile will be natural. These are the photographs you will cherish most because they depict your family connection and your love.
7. What to wear
Ah, the age old question always associated with photo shoots. Styling is one thing I try not to have too much of a hand in, since I want you guys to still be you not, Stacey Still's idea of fashion. But here is my 2 cents:
Think layers. Probably the biggest difference between sessions that look great and sessions that look wow: little boys in a t-shirt, with a button up over it, along with a blazer. Throw on a fun hat (bowler, fedora, stylish ball cap) and you're set!
As you think about your color palette, imagine your family being one complete piece of artwork. What do your dream family photos look like? If they are soft and elegant, choose neutral colors with soft, flowing fabrics… think creams, very soft pastels, oatmeals, light browns, tans, grays and slate blues. Want to showcase the fun and spunky side of your family? Choose coordinating colors (but not match, match) with bold accent colors, such as hues of gray with yellow or bright red accents. Adding fun accessories like scarves, vests, suspenders, hats, etc. can add a modern twist and sassy flair to your images.
What NOT to wear
Remember the Olan Mills look of everyone in khakis + white button down shirts? That isn’t the kind of matching I’d like you to do. Again, think coordinating without matching perfectly.
Dads, instead of defaulting to a plain ol’ polo - look for fun colors, stripes, plaids. Texture photographs amazingly. Get creative and have fun!