Ok, let's talk about the ways you're (unintentionally) sabotaging your family photo session...
I won't ask you to admit if you've done these things or not (although I'll take one for the team and admit that I have!). Instead, let's just all agree to stop doing them, mmmkay?
Not thinking ahead.
Not bringing snacks.
Choosing an abstract bribe.
Trying too hard to recreate something you saw online.
Getting stressed that your kids are acting like kids.
PLANNING I love a nice relaxed session, but relaxed doesn’t mean ill-prepared. If you wait until the day before the session to pick outfits, plan activities, clean the house, etc, you’re definitely going to be stressed. Stressed is pretty much the opposite of what we’re going for so…. How about keeping your photo session in the back of your mind for the month leading up to your session. Think about it just a teensy tiny bit every day. Every time you get yourself or your kids dressed make a quick mental note whether those clothes would be good for pics or not. This eliminates the last minute “oh crap! I had this one shirt picked out and it doesn’t even fit him!” emergency scenario that derails our plans. You can go as far as laying the family’s outfits out on the bed, taking a pic and looking back at it every couple days to see if you’re still liking it or not. If the session is on your radar ahead of time, you’ll find that you won’t be scrambling last minute which means you actually will be relaxed the day of. Our goal!
SNACKS, snacks, snacks and more snacks. For everyone. Adults included :) No one is happy when they’re hungry! Not all snacks are created equal though. I like things that are in small pieces because kids can finish their bite quickly and we can snap between servings. And, of course, things that aren't messy. I once used m&ms because they're so delicious, but those babies DO melt in your hands (no matter what they used to claim!) and the color gets everywhere. Not good.
BRIBES Ok, listen, bribes are the lifeblood of my work. I’m sure some parenting experts would frown upon bribing kids for some really excellent reason, but I need bribes. Here’s the thing though - the only bribes that really work during a session are immediate ones. I understand that “you can get a dinosaur/icecream/pony after the pictures if you’re good” is a big ticket item, but it’s too abstract for our purposes. We need jellybeans and we need them STAT.
PINTEREST No doubt it's great, but do us all a favor and let go of the hundreds of perfect images you saw there of someone else’s happily-ever-after and embrace your unique flavor of love. Go ahead, take a quick peek to get yourself pumped about the session, but then x out of that screen and start creating your own inspiration board with moments in your own home. Did you melt when your kiddos were coloring together at the kitchen table? Does your little girl love snuggling in bed with you in the morning? Does your little dude adorably climb on the counters to reach the spoons all by himself? Let’s capture those things!
KIDS Friend, kids are kids and kids love to show off alllll their crazy for the photographer. Don’t get stressed. I’m not worried about it and you don’t need to be either. I kinda need you to be happy, laughing, snuggling and enjoying your fam in order to capture happy, laughing, snuggling pics, ya know. In the words of our dear friend Elsa, let it go. Enjoy their antics as best you can.
So there. Easy peasy right?! :)
If these tips resonated with you and you'd like to set up your own kick booty family session, contact me. I'd love to work with you! (I bet I'll even end up with more tips for people on how to rock a family photo session cause that's exactly what you'll do!)