MY FAMILY SESSIONS HAVE A FUN AND RELAXED VIBE.
I’ll get those ‘everyone look at the camera’ standard portraits, but I'll also come to the session with some fun prompts for you all to do to get you interacting with each other and having fun. If you have little kids, please don’t stress about them misbehaving or not looking at the camera. I have two kids of my own and TOTALLY understand that most kids aren’t that into photos, and I’m happy to chase them around capturing all the cute things they do when they think nobody is looking. The best photos happen when everyone is relaxed and being themselves.
How long will the shoot take?
Outdoor shoots are best done in the ‘golden hour’ before sunset. The light is more flattering then and everything feels a little more magical. Please be on time for your session, the sun doesn’t wait for anyone, so if you are late we will have less time to get those beautiful glowing images. We can have a quick chat, and head to the best spot to get started. Depending on the light, and what sort of mood everyone is in, we can usually get all our shots in 30-60 minutes.
What to wear
I’ve put together a handy guide with a few things to avoid and pointers if you feel you need them - click here for more information.
What to bring
I often move around a location, so if you aren’t comfortable leaving your bag behind, best to leave it in the car (I'm happy to chuck your keys and phone in my camera bag). But if your kid needs their water bottle and an emergency snack supply, by all means, bring a bag (a photogenic one if you have one). If you are planning on bringing any food or toys as rewards/bribes (no judgment! I do it! Pro Tip: I bribe my kids with mini marshmallows. They're small enough to hide in my hand and don't get the kids dirty like chocolate does or stain their clothes!) If you’d like some shots kicking a ball, building sandcastles, or having a swim, bring toys/towels, whatever you like. Bringing the child's favorite book can be a cute way to settle everyone and also document what they are into at that time.
Prepping Your Little Ones
setting expectations before the session is the key to great photos and happy kids.
Before your session, pack a bag with water and your kids’ favorite snacks. If they’re too young to follow directions, bring any objects that you think might help me get their attention (like small toys or stuffed animals) when it’s time for them to look at the camera.
If your little ones are old enough to understand you, it’s a good idea to prepare them for what’s to come before the session starts. Explain how much the photos mean to you so they know to be on their best behavior. A lot of families pick something fun to do –– as a treat after the session –– if their kiddos are good listeners. Like dinner at their favorite pizza place or an ice cream cone!
After you do your best to prepare them, give yourself (and them) some grace! I have a lot of experience working with kids, so if they’re “in a mood” or aren’t cooperating perfectly for some reason, rest assured that I'm not judging you (or them). I've seen it all and know how to get great photos no matter what! My goal is to make this as fun and stress-free as possible for you and your family! This season of life feels long right now, but in the grand scheme of things, it's short. So even if things don't go exactly as planned or as you'd hoped in terms of your kids’ behavior, one day, you’ll be so glad you took these photos.
How to Prep Your Man
even though taking photos might not be his favorite thing, *you* are!
Most men aren’t overly excited to take photos for an hour, mostly because they don’t have an expectation of what’s to come and why it’s so important to you, which is why we recommend sitting down together and letting him know why you want to do this and how much it means to you. Trust me, if he loves you, he’ll bring his A-game and light up the camera for you! The most common thing I've heard from guys before a portrait session is: because of a bad experience in the past, they don’t like taking photos or don’t feel like they’ll be good at it. By the time the session is over, though, most guys can’t believe how fast it went and just how much fun they had!
OTHER THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
Don’t stress about your kids misbehaving.
I have kids, I get it. Sometimes they are angels, and sometimes life happens. I’m more than happy to go with the flow and let them run the show. I might make suggestions on where to go or what to do next, but if they aren’t keen we can change it up, whatever you would do on your regular day. Otherwise, negotiations, tears, and tantrums are part of every day, so I might photograph that too!
Your mood affects your photos.
I know it’s hard, trying to get your kids, your partner, and your SELF ready. But once we get started it’s time to leave all that behind. This is the time for you to connect with your family. Have fun with them, laugh with them, ask them questions, and play. If you’re having fun, so are they and it will come through in your photos.
Don't forget to show affection to your partner.
Don't force it, but don't be shy because I'm there. I won't ask you to kiss or do anything cheesy, but if you might normally hold hands or put your arm around them, any kind of physical affection makes for a much nicer photo than standing far apart. Remember, you might just be in the background of photos of your kids too!
Of course, I am ALWAYS here to help!
If you have any questions at all, please don't hesitate to reach out!