So you picked the best photographer?! Now what?
Chances are you viewed portfolios, got recommendations, and finally found a photographer that fit what you were looking for. So now you have to prepare; I'm here with some small (but mighty) tips to help your family have an amazing photo session, even if it's not with me! The photographer you booked will likely have some tips themselves as everyone has different recommendations but I'm so happy you've found your way here to hear what I have to say.
#1 kids will be kids
I put this as my first tip because it is SO important! Let the kids run the show! So they don't want to sit on a blanket right away? No problem, let's go for a walk! Let's get some standing shots or some fun shots to start! Follow their lead; I always tell my clients it low pressure and fun. I have 3 kids myself (and at the time of writing this they are 1, 3, & 5) so I get it!! Kids do NOT always listen or do what you want them to do right away, but stressing about it will always make it worse. Relax and encourage them to do something different, something that they'd like better. Have fun and enjoy the time with your family; it will make for good photos.
#2 & #3 - outfit preperation
Choose a color scheme and work off of that. I offer a styling service to client's that I encourage them to use; but at the basics pick a couple colors you like and go from there! I recommend having a couple neutral pieces in the mix and to mix and match shades of colors! It doesn't have to be too matchy matchy. Avoid plain white tees and denim at all costs. If you're stuck on what colors to choose consider the season you're doing photos in and consider your home decor. You'll likely have these photos hung and displayed in your house so choosing outfits that compliment your families home will make them look complete.
Be comfortable! I always tell the woman to choose their outfits first. Typically women are the hardest to decide what they want to wear. It's always fun to experiment; you see other moms wearing long flowy dresses so you picture yourself in one, BUT if you try it on and aren't comfortable put it back. It's fun to follow a trend but if you are uncomfortable in that outfit it will show in your photos! You should pick something you feel gorgeous in. Then add accessories!
This can make or break photos! Ask your photographer for recommendations but also speak up about your vision. While some families lean towards a grassy field others want a downtown urban feel. Telling your photographer your vision can assist them in recommending locations. Part of choosing a location is making sure it will have the correct lighting at the time of the session; your photographer will scout and make sure this would work for your vision!
#5 don't worry about perfection
This goes along with tip #1 DON'T sweat the small stuff. I dislike the term "picture perfect" because that is rarely the case in real life. Real life is messy and chaotic and full of emotion. Embrace it; don't focus on the imperfections. The picture of your daughter laughing and twirling her dress will likely mean more to you than the one of her sitting with every hair in the right spot with a forced smile looking at the camera. (this might not be the case for every single person reading this; and thats okay!! Find a photographer who's vision matches yours!)