Ok, so how's everyone doing?? It's been a bit since I last did this, a couple of months....anyways. So I have a few things to do to prepare yourself and your family to get the best out of your family photos. I really want to make getting photos taken a fun experience, I start by sending you a short little questionnaire for you to tell me about your family. What you like to do together, if there is anything you don't like, any special locations that mean something to you. Any and all the info you give me is appreciated, and stays with me. So if you tell me little Johnny doesn't like to be touched (can't do that now anyways) but that is really good info for me to know so I don't ruin it for Johnny, and therefore you. This kind of information also helps me suggest and choose a location for you, a family who loves to hike and be outdoors, I would suggest a treed park, or by the river somewhere.
So after we have made a decision on a location we need to choose a time. I generally prefer to shoot in the evening for family outdoor sessions.....however, I do understand it is a little tough when you have little ones. So here is what I have for you, I am definitely open to shooting earlier, however choosing a location is key!! You will also need to understand that to get those beautiful sun flair golden hour photos, they need to be done at golden hour. So if you are unwilling to give up those beautiful rays, I have some tips for you!! Try to get your kids to nap in the afternoon, have a good snack before you get dressed for your photos, and hype them up for photos....Yay, we are gonna have so much fun at photos later today!! IF you have to, I'm down for a good bribe!!
Now this is where I get into what you can do....pick your outfits days before your photo shoot. I like to lay our clothes out on the floor so I can visualize them together. Patterns are great in a small amount. I say try to avoid everyone being in a print. I usually start by choosing what I would like to wear (because I feel I'm the hardest to dress) and then build everyone else's around that outfit. So If you are in a flowy dress with a print, I would choose maybe one more person in your family to have a complimentary print and solids for the remainder outfits. Here is my Pinterest board if you need some visuals.
On the day of your shoot, I highly recommend that the person getting everyone ready (usually Mom) starts getting ready hours, yes hours before your shoot, so that gives you well then enough time to have any hair problems or issues solved before having to move onto the rest of your family. This will reduce your stress and make it a much better experience for everyone. Then either just before you are about to leave or right when you get to your shoot get your kids dressed, this reduces the risk of soiling their clothes....another good thing to do is bring a backup outfit if your little one is prone to spitting up, or there is a diaper blowout, etc.....then then everything will be okay!! Also when thinking about your outfits, consider your location.....so if you are going to a place with long grass, maybe don't put you kid in a dress where she will complain about the grass touching her!!
Another thing that I find works for my kids, is telling them what to expect!! You can tell them your friend named Corissa will be taking your photos. I find telling kids what is to happen next gives them a chance to process and ask questions if they need to.
Ok, so now you are at your photo shoot location, you're all dressed and ready to go...now what?? I am usually at our location 15 minutes before your scheduled time, so if you are early, great!! If you are running late, please send me a text and let me know!!
The best advice I can give you is to let go of all expectations of your kids, forget about raising decent human beings. This is hard, I know, but I can not capture your kids being their true self if you are constantly telling them to smile and look at the camera.....I want to give you this time together as a family to just be you and honor the stage you are at now. Let your kids jump and play and explore!! Don't worry I get "the grandparent shot" out of the way first!! So you can have that everyone looking at the camera picture!! But after that I want to capture your connection, your love, your happiness, your silliness, your you as a family. So I usually set you up, or pose you in a way and then I ask you to do something that gets you guys having fun, laughing, connecting!! This family shoot I did this past weekend was a perfect example of what I'm talking about!! They showed up and were open to everything I had suggested. I laughed so hard I was crying!! There was a lot of 'Hey Corissa, look here...take a picture of us!!' I always get photos of just Mom and Dad too, your love is the reason your family exists and you two are too important not to capture. So if you are needing some family photos, and feel a connection with my work and my words lets get together and have some fun!! Please leave a comment and tell me if you have any good family photo tips, or what you think of this families gallery!!