How can you get the most out of your family portraits? A little preparation can go a long way! Sometimes preparing for family session can seem a little daunting, but with a little preparation, and a few tips from us, your session can be relatively stress-free!
Once you book your session, start thinking of outfits right away. You may think certain clothes will fit your kids or that one dress is clean. If you wait until the day of or day before you may run into an issue of clothes not fitting, being dirty or need to be dry cleaned.
Kids have their own schedule and usually, their own agenda. Try to schedule your session around when your kids do best. If they are happy in the mornings, try and get pictures within the first few hours of daylight. If they are better after their nap, shoot for afternoon pictures. The best time for lighting is the two hours after sunrise and before sunset. If this is a bad time for your children, feel free to discuss a time with us that fits into your schedule.
Moms are often rushing around before the family session, making sure that their family is dressed and ready. Leave plenty of time for showers, baths, dressing, and grooming. When a family shows up for family portraits rushed and disorganized, it sets the tone for a rushed and disorganized session. Give yourself extra time so that you are ready before it’s time to head out that door.
No matter what time of day you decide on, it’s important to honor that time. Chances are you are having an on location shoot and that means that we are using natural light to some extent. We work hard to help you schedule your shoot around your family and the best lighting of the day. We have also scheduled an end time for your shoot, so showing up 20 minutes late means 20 minutes of missed portraits! If you have young children, give yourself an extra 15 minutes to deal with unforeseen delays.
Don’t show up for family portraits on an empty stomach. I meet many families who come to a photo session with lunch scheduled at the end. If this is your plan, be sure to give everyone a healthy snack before the session. Everyone will be more focused, and have more energy. Feel free to bring animal crackers, nutrition bar etc. Stay away from chocolate or colored items/drinks.
I encourage families to think about their home, their decor, colors, and style of their homes. Chances are, at some point after your session, you will be ordering prints or wall art. Why not keep your decor in mind and ensure that it all blends into your home. This will ensure that any large portraits will coordinate beautifully.
Whether you want everyone in matching Christmas sweaters, or super casual attire, outfits can make or break your photos. Be sure the colors you use coordinate with each other and you don’t just end up looking like one big rainbow family! When picking patterns, choose smaller ones that won’t distract attention away from the whole family. Use patterns sparingly; if one person is wearing a print, try to avoid putting someone else in a competing pattern. When thinking about texture, choose different ones that will give photos some interest such as lace, corduroy, denim, etc. Avoid large logo’s, emblems and graphics like “GAP” and “Old Navy” because again, these will typically distract attention away from the subject. Feel free to send us pictures of outfit choices before your session so we can help you.
Thinking about the time of year you want your family portraits is important, but another important thing to think about is where you want your photos taken. Parks are always popular, but don’t be afraid to try something different. Downtown Covington, Over-The-Rhine, a warehouse district, under bridges, there are lots of possibilities. Try to envision what kind of image you want hanging on your walls before you book your location.
We all want the posed family shots together, and those are important to have, but sometimes candid moments of interaction can show your family’s personality and be much more meaningful. Don’t be afraid to interact with your family during your session, a good photographer will catch those moments.
Don’t be afraid to pick up your children and toss them in the air. Give your wife a sweet kiss on the check. Tell your husband how much you love him and appreciate him for being there for your family. The best photographs are often the ones where everyone is engaged or interacting with each other. Understand that not every picture needs to have everyone looking at the camera and smiling at the same time. These are the photographs that you will cherish most because they depict your family connection and your love.
We hope this helps in the planning process! Family portraits can seem very overwhelming, but in the end, you will be SO glad that you did them and even more glad you took a few extra minutes to do some pre-session planning!
Creative. Clean. Different. We are a team of creatives in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky specializing in maternity, newborn, and family photography. We want to be here to document major moments in your life as you extend your family tree and lay down your roots. We’d love to show you our studio and walk you through our albums, canvases and other print photography products. We can also provide more information on our collections and introduce you to our team! We’d love to help, connect with us now.