I love photography, and posey family pics, but when it comes to capturing our entire family in one shot, it’s near impossible AND stressful to do myself! It’s no secret I have an affinity for professional family portraits, and like many families, love doing Fall minis and holiday shoots with a pro. But let’s be real, it’s not easy capturing those special family pics. Scratch that…it can be a full-blown gong show! Am I right? But after doing them many, many times over that last 9 years, here’s 8 tips I swear by to help make your session less stress, and more of a success:
1. This may be obvious, but do yourself a favour and go with a photographer who is also a parent. Patience and understanding behind the lens are key to snagging great shots. Parent photogs know children and understand when and why they aren’t always cooperating. It’ll take the pressure off and make you all feel more relaxed. GTA parents, keep reading until the end. We’re giving away an amazing mini-session with our favourite family photog Lace Photography!
2. As much as possible, book your session around nap schedules and ensure everyone has been fed or take snacks to go. Seriously, a low blood sugar dip in the middle of a photo session is a sure-fire way for it to go downhill. Happy kids makes for easier photo capturing.
3. Mamas – give yourself oodles of time to get ready and even treat yourself to professional hair styling and make up application. We spend so much time making sure everyone else looks cute, but make sure you make yourself a priority too. Feeling pretty and confident will make you enjoy the session more and reflect in the photos.
4. Give yourself loads of time to get everyone ready and get to the session ahead of time. Rushing and being strapped for time will make the entire family more anxious and less than giddy about an already stressful endeavour. If you can, book nothing else before or immediately after your shoot. We had a wonderful jaunt through the tree farm we took last year’s photos at which made the experience more memorable than difficult
5. Think about the style of photo you want and plan outfits accordingly. Are you going for a softer, more elegant look? Choose neutral colours – think creams, oatmeals, light browns, tans, greys and slate blues. Want to capture the fun, spunky side of your family? Add more pops of colour like yellow, bright red, teal or purple. Pops of colour don’t need to be in the clothing, but can also come out in accessories like hats, scarves, mitts and blankets
6. Mixing solids with patters, and layering look best in photos. Avoid dressing every member in your family in plaid, for instance. Have Mom & Dad dress in contrasting neutrals in the background, then dress kids in patterns or layered colours in the foreground. To get a better idea of how to coordinate the entire family without being overly matchy or busy-looking, check out our Pinterest board “Family Photography” for some great pins on family fashion coordination.
7. It’s not easy to control whether a child will feel a bit anxious or shy during the session. Bring along his/her favourite toy(s) to play with during the shoot, or even incorporate them as props. Doing so will make them feel more relaxed, and therefore, more cooperative. Themed books, blankets, stuffies, dolls, balls, etc., might work well in your images.
8. If there are certain photos and poses you have in mind, create a small list for the photographer and email ahead of time or show it to them at the start of the session. Aim to get those shots done first to avoid disappointment, then I would suggest laying off and letting the photographer capture your family in more natural, candid interaction. Seriously, don’t overdue the pose list. Firstly, it’s very hard to get the entire family to cooperate for posed shots, and ticking off every photo style will make the session more stressful. Some of our favourite family shots are the unplanned, candid snaps. They capture the emotion, allow you to have some fun, and showcase more natural, often more gorgeous smiles. Letting the photographer work freely with your family will allow them to capture the true essence of your dynamic, and each members personality. Toss your babes in the air, give your spouse a smooch, tell jokes, snuggle, play, embrace. This will give your photog an incredible opportunity to capture the love of your family through their lens. My fave shots are “Us” being Us!
Hope you find these tips useful and your family photo sessions go as smooth as can be.
Now for a great GIVEAWAY! Lace Photography captured our 10 year Anniversary shots as well as our family lifestyle shoot for the blog a year ago. Lacey is incredibly talented, and as a Mama of 3, works amazingly well with families. She captures light and composition unlike many photogs I’ve seen and her images are breathtaking.
To celebrate our 1 year milestone, we’re thrilled to be partnering with Lace Photography to give one lucky family a FREE 20 minute mini session, including 8 high resolution images with printing rights (Max. 5 people). Entrants must reside in the GTA, and be able to commute to the Keswick, ON region. Contest closes August 17, 2017 at 12 Midnight EST. Best of luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Sabrina B says
Hoping to win the Lace photography contest for my amazing family of 5. Its very hard to capture a family photo these days lol.
Just came across your blog and I love it! When I have photos booked for my 1 yo I have major anxiety all day on how she is going to behave. Your tip on hiring a photographer that has kids cannot be more accurate. Makes you feel so much more at ease!
Kathy Ellis says
We have used Lace Photography for most of
Our family milsotones including 2 births, with 4 kids it is so hard to get a great pic. These are fantastic tips and I love the idea of mom getting hair and make up done because I’m always the last one to get dressed and end up doing my mke up in the car on the way or not being happy with how I had to rush through my hair.
My family is long overdue for family pictures. I believe the last time we had a professional shoot done was something like 4 years ago. Seriously, time flies by. My kids are getting SO big and I don’t want to miss another season without a family picture. Fall pictures here at our country home in Kawartha Lakes would look so beautiful! Thank you for the opportunity. Lace has stunning pictures and it would be an honor to have her shoot my family.