Monday, August 3, 2015

7 Tips for Family Photos You'll LOVE!

Hey guys!  I’m here today to share my experiences as a professional photographer to help you make the most of your next family photo session!
1.       Research!  Look around at a variety of photographers to see their style.  Are you looking for a classic portrait or carefree style or more of a lifestyle photographer?  Choose a photographer who you can imagine their work on the walls of your home.  When setting up your appointment, tell the photographers which of their photos match the style you’re looking for.  Don’t just send them your Pinterest board – not every photographer shoots every style!  Also consider what poses/groupings you’ll want.  Whole family, just the kids, just mom and dad, the 2 year old’s birthday photos and communicate that to your photographer.  Some include multiple groupings in their session while others may have pricing structure based on groupings.  Think about what size and type of prints you're wanting for your home and office.  If you're going to want a large family photo for over the fireplace, let your photographer know what direction (landscape or portrait) so they can make sure to provide you with what you need.
2.       Plan!  What time of day are your kids the happiest?  Most families find that just after naptime is perfect for photos.  Get a snack in them, and they are good to go!  
3.       Coordinate – but don’t match!  I’m still a sucker for old school photos with everyone in jeans and a black or white top.  But some of the best family photos have everyone in similar colors, like this gorgeous family below.  Think spring colors or shades of blue for ideas.  Tight checks or busy patterns don’t always photograph well, so aim for solids or larger patterns, if possible.

4.       Prepare!  Start talking about family photos early!  Tell your kids how much fun they’ll have and how they’ll be on their best behavior.  Get the kids to practice their smiles, keeping notes on which silly words or phrases make them laugh. 
5.       Pack!  Many families wait until they arrive to dress the kids, reducing the risk of a spill or stain between home and the session.  We all know those mysterious stains happen, so might as well plan in advance!  Many parents find bringing an outfit change as a backup is the safe choice.  Consider packing some baby wipes and a few dry snacks (nothing that stains) for a quick clean up or to keep everyone happy.  I'm a fan of bringing Tic-Tacs to bribe older kids during the shoot.  They are small, quickly consumed and can usually be hidden during photos. 
6.       Bribe! I know, it’s not an ideal parenting tactic, but the ends justify the means!  Maybe it means a trip to the park right after!  Maybe a new coloring book or small prize! 
7.       Negotiate!  I always try to be flexible during a photo shoot and often joke it isn’t the time for parenting.  I know a shoot can be stressful, but try to avoid threatening timeout or any other punishment; we want the kids to be happy and cooperative.    The 2 year old wants to sit here instead of there for the photo?  Sure!  The 3 year old needs a break?  Let’s take a picture of mom and dad, having the kids make faces at them!  

In addition to occasionally writing here at The Kidsperts, Lauren owns the creatively named Lauren Campbell Photography and would love to bribe and negotiate with your children to make sure you have awesome family photos!