Family Session Planner
Family is everything. We all come in different shapes and sizes. Family photos give us a chance to capture that unique bond and connection. Here are some tips and tricks to make sure our session is picture perfect!
Location, Location, Location
First things first! Let's find a location. That will help determine what outfits to wear and the best time of day to shoot. Is there a special place that means a lot to your family? Or maybe just a place that you think is beautiful? If you don't have any ideas, just let me know if you'd prefer beach, city or nature and I have a location guide I can send over to you to help us find your perfect spot!
The best times of day to begin a photo session is when the sun is not so harsh, so either very early morning or later in the evening. If you want that "golden hour" look, plan on an evening session about 90 minutes or so before sunset.
If your schedule doesn't allow for either of these times to happen, that's okay! We can shoot during the day, but we'll just need a location that has a good amount of shade.
Let's Talk Wardrobe
Patterns, Tones & Style
You should dress however makes you feel cool and confident. After all, these photos are about capturing you as your authentic self. But I have some advice for outfit planning!
- I personally love neutrals or earth tones with a little splash of color. Don't be afraid to be "too extra". If there's an outfit in your closet that you've been dying to wear, but never had the occasion for, let's showcase it! Plan on color coordinating without completely matching.
- Make sure everyone is dressed weather appropriate. I'd hate for anyone to be too cold or hot!
- Try to avoid busy patterns, logos or clothing with sayings on them. It can be distracting and can quickly age your images.
- Try things on before the session to make sure everything looks good.
Have fun with it and feel free to accessorize! You should feel like a total fashion icon.
Planning for the Kiddos
Kids can be a little unpredictable when it comes to moods and cooperation. I have some tricks up my sleeve for making them smile, but there is a little prep you can do to help ensure we have some happy campers!
- Talk to your kids about the session in the coming days before the session. Sometimes kids can get a little shy in front of the camera, or around new people. Let them know what to expect and give them a chance to get excited about it.
- Plan on bringing one of their favorite toys or books. That way if they get a little sad or scared, they'll have something there to comfort them. It can also work as something I can use to get their attention for photos. Also figure out some songs that make them happy that we can cue up or sing to get them to smile.
- Let's try to time the session around nap and eating schedules. Preferably after nap time so they are refreshed, and try to make sure they have full bellies when arriving. Even plan on bringing a snack as a reward for good behavior. A little bribery never hurt..
- Please inform me beforehand if there's anything that I should know about your kiddos so that I can accommodate. I want to make sure they are comfortable!
Don't plan on everything to be perfect. Sometimes we just can't get the cooperation we're looking for, and that's totally okay! Don't get discouraged. I have ideas to get beautiful candid photos that will be frame worthy.
Send in the Dogs
Your dog is part of the family, too! You're more than welcome to bring your fur baby to the session and grab some shots with them. Here are some tips + requirements for your dog:
- Only bring your dog if they are friendly around strangers.
- Make sure they have a collar and a leash.
- Bring something to clean up after them.
- Bring a treat or a toy for me to use to get their attention.
- Bring a family member or friend along to watch the dog while we aren't using them for photos.
What if the weather is bad?
Ohio weather is very unpredictable and I'm used to accommodating it. Please keep an eye on the weather the week of our session. If the forecast doesn't look great, we can play it by ear as it gets closer. If it still doesn't look great, we can look into alternate dates to reschedule. If you're unable to reschedule, we can try to find an indoor location if possible.
How many photos do we get?
I do not limit the number of images I deliver. I value quality over quantity, but still try to produce a fair number of images for you to enjoy. It will also depend on the cooperation of everyone and what turns out successfully.
What package should we pick?
I always recommend more time because it gives us time to explore and play, rather than trying to rush through a 30 minute session. However, if you have a small family, or just want more traditional posing / updated photos of everyone, the smaller package might be for you! Feel free to consult with me if you're stuck between which packages to get.