Top tips for your family photography session

You've picked your favorite photographer and booked that date and now you're wondering how you're family will look anything like all those perfect galleries you looked at.  I'm here to reassure you that everyone feels this way! I've put together my top tips on how to not only survive your family photography session but actually enjoy it.

1. What to wear

There are definitely 2 schools of thought on this. The first, and more traditional approach is to aim for a coordinated theme, such as neutrals with a a matching accent color, whilst avoiding being too matchy matchy. The second, is to wear whatever represents your family, be yourselves rather than a Pinterest board ideal.  Both can work, both give a different feel to your images. If you are looking for a traditional, classic family portrait then the coordinated outfits is the way to go. If you are more inclined towards natural, candid imagery, stick with outfits that represent who you all are as a family.

Both approaches can work beautifully and I have taken great images with both styles. My biggest piece of advice, for whichever style you choose, is to make sure you all feel comfortable and relaxed. Rigid bodies and fake smiles will notice much more than the outfits you choose.

Kirkland Family Photographer.jpg
Kirkland Family Photographer.jpg

2. Say Cheese!

As parents, our overwhelming desire is to tell our kids to smile at the camera, whilst frantically pointing.  Trust me, as a photographer, this is the last thing I want you to do. The kids (and the photographer) end up stressed and you'll end up with fake smiles and stiff bodies, at best. Its hard, but take a big breath and just have fun with your kids! Let the photographer work on naturally interacting with you and your children to capture who your are as a family. Plus, the best images don't always need everyone looking at the camera, its the connection we're capturing not just the smiles.

Seattle family photographer.jpg

3. Prepping for the Session

Getting the whole family ready for a professional photography session can seem like a Herculean task. Mom is always the one rushing around, trying to get everyone out the door, often frantically grabbing her outfit together as she leaves. Where possible I suggest Mom pampers herself with professional hair and make up. If Mom is feeling relaxed and confident, the whole family tends to feel more relaxed too! 

Its not just about Mom either, getting Dad's on board with the session is just as important. So many Dad's dread the family photo session, they feel awkward and unnatural in front of the camera. Dad's, I get it, but remember, your children only stay little for such a short time, so lets capture those memories. If you're feeling really uncomfortable, focus on playing with your kids, making them laugh and whispering jokes to your wife. I promise, the images will look amazing.

Bellevue Family photographer.jpg
Seattle family photographer

4. Have fun!

The first step to feeling relaxed at your session, is to pick a photographer that you connect with. Meet them for coffee beforehand; do you feel relaxed with them? Do they get your family dynamic? It sounds obvious but this really does make all the difference on how your session will turn out.  Once you arrive at the session, don't be afraid to play with your kids. Pick them up, throw them in the air. Kiss your wife. Hug you husband. Laugh. Joke. Play. This is who you are and its what your photographer wants to capture. When you look back at these images, when your kids are older, you want to remember those sweet giggles and easy smiles. 

Seattle family photographer.jpg

If you'd would like to find out more about how a session would work call 425-326-7914