HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR OUTFIT CAREFULLY
Thinking of doing a family shoot this year, but nervous about finding coordinating outfits for a group? We’ve got you covered! All you need is one piece to get started, and it’s a breeze from there.
Stylists know that the key to group styling is a balance of colors, textures, fabrics, and patterns. This guide will give you an example of how to achieve this balance, while still keeping the group comfortable and stylish. We’ll give you one example here, but this concept can be applied to any season and any look. This is a perfect way to play for our upcoming Outdoor Fall Portrait Special sessions!
2. IF YOU HAVE SMALL KIDS, A NAP IS REQUIRED FOR A SUCCESSFUL SESSION
Be certain not to schedule your photo session around your child’s nap or bedtime. The best time for lighting is the two hours before sunset and after sunrise. If this is a bad time for your children, talk with me. Good photographers will be able to shoot at any time of day by utilizing areas of open shade that will give your skin a beautiful hue and put a sparkle in your eyes. Don’t show up to a photo shoot on an empty stomach. I meet many families who come to a photo session with lunch or dinner scheduled at the end. If this is your plan, be sure to give everyone a healthy snack before the photo shoot.
3. BE SURE TO LEAVE PLENTY OF TIME TO GET READY
Moms are often rushing around before a photo shoot, making sure that their family is dressed and ready. I always encourage mothers to have their hair and makeup professionally done. This will prepare mom for her pictures and when mom is feeling pretty and confident, this will reflect on the rest of the family as well.
Leave plenty of time for showers, baths, dressing, and grooming. When a family shows up to a family photo session 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.
4. DADS PLEASE BE CHEERFUL
Dads, please cheerfully participate. I know that many dads dread the family photo session, but fathers, please understand how important capturing your family is. These images will be left as a legacy, when your children are grown, with families of their own some day. Family photos are treasured forever and they are so important.
Please, please, dads… cheerfully participate in your family photo session (I say dads because my husband hates taking pictures but he is always so happy once he sees the final images). Once you see your happy wife and amazing photographs, you will be so glad that you gave this time to your family.
5. HAVE FUN WITH YOUR FAMILY
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. Have fun. Laugh. Giggle. Joke. Embrace. Kiss. Snuggle. Play. Doing these things will allow the photographer to capture the emotion and true beauty of your family.
Leave the stiff “cheese” faces for Aunt Marge at the next family reunion. Show me who you really are, so that she has the opportunity to capture your love through her lens
6. BRING ANY ACTIVITIES YOU LOVE TO DO TOGETHER
My most successful family sessions have incorporated an activity that the family loves to do together. This gives you something to do with your hands and feet, engages the little ones, and brings an authentic smile to your face. Do you love to read together? Bring some books. Love to play board games or cards? When families are engaged in doing something that they love together, I will have the opportunity to take some beautiful and authentic photographs.
7. NOT EVERYONE HAS TO SMILE
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. If you are engaged as a family and loving on each other, your eyes will be on your family members and your smile with be natural. These are the photographs that you will cherish most because they depict your family connection and your love.
8. “CHEESE” ARE FOR CRACKERS Please, parents… leave the “cheese” at home. Cheese is for crackers. So many times I have found parents who stand behind the photographer and scream, “Say cheese to the lady kids!” Yelling and demanding young children to look at the camera to smile will only stress your children out (not to mention ME) and will result in strained, unnatural and often unflattering photographs. Step back, and allow me to naturally interact and talk with your children. This will result in natural, gorgeous smiles. Help the photographer capture the true essence of your child’s personality by talking with and coaxing out those smiles naturally and easily.