It can be intimidating to get ready for your big photo shoot. It seems so easy at first, then you start stressing about what to wear, if the kids are going to cooperate and if the photographer can even get everyone to look in the same direction. I'm here to tell you to calm down. I'll help you prepare and get ready to have the best photoshoot ever.
How To Dress
Choosing your attire is one of the biggest decisions of the photoshoot. Photo shoot outfits can make or break your final result. First off, figure out the colors you want to wear. Choose a color that looks great on you. Black is slenderizing, whites and neutrals are great for a classic and timeless look (in moderation, don't fall into the trap of everyone matching!), but my absolute favorite thing to work with is bold color. I'm talking deep greens, rich blues, vibrant reds, and darker yellows. Don't choose too many patterns, one or two is plenty. I like to go with a few solids, one or two patterns, and lots of textured garments to keep things visually interesting. For texture, think lace maxi dress, a flowy kimono, ruffles on your sweet baby girl's dress, or corduroy overalls for you wild little boy. If you're doing family photos, make sure the colors of your clothing complement one another. I have a million ideas when it comes to the best outfit for each type of photo shoot. All you have to do is ask me, and I'll give you lots of tips for what to wear to your photo shoot. I even have some tips about the best places to get your attire for your photo shoot.
Pro tip: Arrive early with younger kids/babies to get them dressed on-site. This avoids them spitting up, drooling, or spilling snacks on their photo shoot outfits.
Take a look at my pinterest board for family session outfit inspiration here. It's chock full of gorgeous outfits, and some of the garments even have a direct link to buy.
Needing inspiration for your maternity session? I've got a pinterest board for that here.
As a bonus, here's a good list of examples of the types of garments I mentioned:
Getting The Kids Ready
Kids are a gamble when it comes time for their photos. If they're in a great mood, you're in for some great pictures. If they're fussy and mad at the world, we'll all have a tough time getting them to cooperate. I have lots of tricks up my sleeve if that happens, but there's a lot you can do ahead of time to make sure they arrive in the best mood possible!
Make sure you feed them, stack them with snacks and fill up their little tummy so they aren't hangry. Just don't let them eat or drink anything that gets on their photo attire. They should get in a good nap before the session if possible. It's also best to keep them awake on the way to the photo session. If you're wrestling them around waking them up when they get to the location, it might take a lot of time to get them lively. You don't want a zombie in your photos. You know what it takes to make your child happy. If you have to bribe them with a promise of ice cream after the shoot, go ahead. I won't judge you, we've all been there! If you do decide to go this route, don't threaten to take away their special treat in the middle of the session if they start to lose interest. This will inevitably lead to a colossal meltdown that I'm sure you don't want documented, ha!
Even though you do all you can to get the kids ready, I understand sometimes they just aren't in the mood for pictures. I'll work my magic to ensure you have great photos of the kids smiling. I know how to get them to smile and have fun even when they're having a rough day. As long as they show up dressed, fed and rested, we can work together to ensure a smooth photo shoot.
Arrive On Time
One of the most important parts of any photo session is to arrive on time. I usually start taking your photos an hour before sunset. This is called the "golden hour" with the best lighting of the day. The only problem with this lighting is that it is magical and doesn't last all night. If you're even 15 minutes late, we've wasted valuable daylight. If you arrive on time, we have plenty of time to get all of the combinations, poses and photos that we need for a great selection of pictures. This also gives us breathing time if we need to work with the entire family to get everyone to look their best. Sometimes we need to take breaks if one of the kids is fussy or needs a quick snack. I promise if you arrive on time, we'll capture that magical lighting that creates the perfect photos.
Communication is Key
Communication leading up to your photo shoot is one of the most important things to maintain. If there’s a specific look you’re going for, whether it be posing-wise or in terms of location, tell me! Obviously I’ll suggest locations I love and what will be the most flattering poses, but if you’re a fan of Pinterest and want to show me screenshots or examples of poses and things you want to incorporate, please feel free! Some photographers get annoyed by this, but honestly I love it when my clients come prepared. It also sometimes helps me be a little more creative and think outside of the box, which can lead to some really great photos! Don't be afraid to ask questions, no matter how ridiculous they may seem. It’s what I’m here for! It may seem silly to you, but anything I can do to ease your mind or make the session go smoother is worth it in my book. Now, this one is important. In the age of social media, some families don’t want their photos posted on the internet. That’s fine, just please tell me ahead of time so I know not to post a sneak peek or use your photos for marketing. I respect my client's privacy and want you to feel 100% comfortable with choosing me as your photographer. If there's anything at all you need me to do, please let me know! I'm here for you.
I do my best to notice all the little details that might diminish a photo. Examples are hair ties on wrists, eye boogers, lipstick smears on cheeks, or snot drip from toddlers. Sometimes I miss it though, so make sure to do a once over of everyone before getting out of the car.
The Most Important Tip of All: Don't Stress!
Let’s face it: family photos can be stressful. I do my best to make the whole experience as stress-free as possible, but sometimes stress happens no matter what you do. However, if you are stressed and rushing through things, your kids are going to pick up on that energy and get stressed and grumpy too. So it’s very important to go with the flow and just let the session go the way it’s going to go. Sometimes kids aren’t the happiest, and that’s okay. That’s when I tend to go much heavier on the lifestyle imagery. Playing with your kids, tickling them, walking around the photo shoot location, etc. Getting at least a few “grandma shots“ where everyone is looking at the camera and smiling is great, and I do try to get at least one for every session. However, if we don’t because kids are having a hard day, that’s okay too! I will still get gorgeous photos of your family in whatever mood they’re in.
What to Bring to Your Family Photo Session
- Snacks and water for kids
- Wipes for yucky faces
- Optional: Accessories easy to pop on or off for a variation in looks. Hats, scarves, jackets, etc
- A favorite toy or rattle to get baby’s attention
- In the summer, it can be super hot and humid. It’s not a bad idea to bring a handkerchief to wipe away any sweat beads on foreheads. Hopefully you won’t need it, but in Texas you never know!
Preparing for your photo session doesn't have to be difficult. You can always ask me any questions. The best things to remember are to figure out your clothing, make sure everyone in the family is prepared for pictures and get everyone out the door on time. If you do all of these things, you're already a rockstar ready for the best photo shoot ever.