1. Choose your clothing carefully
Have your clothing chosen way in advance and make sure that your outfit choices are comfortable and attractive. What do your dream family photos look like? If they are soft and elegant? Chose neutral colours with soft, flowing fabrics…. think creams, very soft pastels, oatmeals, light browns, tans, greys, and slate blues. Want to showcase the fun side of your family? Choose coordinating colours (but not matchy, matchy) with bold accent colours, such as hues of grey with yellow or bright red accents.
2. Be well rested and fed
Be certain not to schedule your photo session around your child’s nap or bedtime. Don’t show up to a photo shoot on an empty stomach. I meet many families who come to a photo session with 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.
Parents are often rushing around before a photo shoot, making sure that their family is dressed and ready. I always encourage families to have their hair and makeup professionally done. This will prepare you for your pictures and when you’re not 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 disorganised, it sets the tone for a rushed and disorganised session. Give yourself extra time so that you are ready before it’s time to head out that door.
4. Get those smiles
Allowing the photographer to naturally interact and talk with your children will result in natural, gorgeous smiles. But do help the photographer capture the true essence of your child’s personality by talking with and coaxing out those smiles naturally and easily.
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. Show your photographer who you really are, so that she has the opportunity to capture your love through her lens.
6. Bring an activity that you enjoy doing together as a family.
Do you love to read together? Bring some books. Is your favourite dessert ice cream? Bring some ice cream bars or drumsticks to your session or better yet… hire an ice cream truck to come to your session. Love to play board games or cards? Plan to play a round of Uno or Monopoly during your family photo session. Other ideas include: football, piggy back rides, races, bike riding, hiking, singing, picnics, the ideas are endless. When families are engaged in doing something that they love together, the photographer will have the opportunity to take some beautiful and authentic photographs.
7. Not everyone has to be looking and smiling at the camera at the same time.
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.