How to Prepare for Your Family Session
You have picked a date and finally booked your family session that you have been putting off for weeks, maybe months, or years now. Now the reality of it all sets in and you realize the booking part was the easiest part now you have to prepare yourself and your family to arrive at your shoot location in one peace, happy and looking somewhat together. What have you signed up for? LOL first let me say breathe and please let me help you.
Grace with Timing
Though some time crunches can't be avoided, you should schedule your shoot at least four weeks out from your booking date. This gives your family and yourself time to mentally prepare for the session. It also gives space for other professionals that you may have to set appointments with, such as a hairstylist or make artist, to place you on their schedule so you can show up feeling completely relaxed knowing you look your best.
Not Matching is OK!
In fact not matching is better than ok it's the best thing you can do! Yeah, I usually get that same face from my clients this sweet cheeks to the right is making when I say that, but I mean it! When thinking of your outfit think of complementary colors. Complementary colors are usually directly across from one another on the color wheel. I would recommend staying away from all of your colors being fluorescent but sometimes a singular pop is a nice touch. All black and all white are also what I would recommend staying away from. Have fun with your outfits and allow everyone to participate in picking out their own outfits or maybe each other outfits!
As a mom, I know my kids feed off of my energy, I mean seriously. If I am well rested and relaxed it puts them at ease, but if I am overtired and in need of a nap (adults need naps and bedtimes too), no matter how much I try to fake it my girls know and their energy reflect it. I always recommend proper rest the day before your shoot. If your shoot is later in the day don't schedule too much that day. Relax enjoy time with your family so that you all can walk into your shoot completely present with one another. When I say this does wonders for my clients that take this advice I mean it's night and day between the chemistry and love you can feel between the family unit.
Relax, I'm Shooting You
Though it sounds scary, it is actually the best experience. I want my clients to completely lean into the experience. I am a very verbal photographer. I am going to let you know when you look good and how good you look! It doesn't matter if you are 6 weeks or 96, I am going to let my clients know! This not only makes for great pictures because you don't know if you look good unless I tell you and you can keep doing the same thing, but this also relaxes my clients. My clients walk away feeling good not only about the images they will receive but about themselves. Honestly, that is my goal no matter who you are or where you are we all want to be seen and heard and this is my opportunity to give it to my clients. I love this part of photography just as much as I love lighting.
Expect the Best
When walking into your session expect the best. If you have scheduled a last-minute session, your family's outfits seem to all contrast, you were up all night before I ask you still walk into your session knowing you will be given the best memories of your family. Sometimes when things are falling down around us memories that we still had the courage to smile through it are some of the best memories.
The images I have shared throughout this post are of my daughter. My daughter was born with vascular malformations and this was another day of early morning long back-to-back doctor's appointments. Appointments that are uncomfortable for her and often have her clinging to me so tightly that I find myself in tears along with her knowing how scared she is. This day she cried all the way home and when we got home I just held her. I let her nurse as long as she wanted and I held her some more. This morning I dressed her in this outfit determined despite all that she was going to face, it was going to be the best day ever. It wasn't just another day that I was going to love her it was new day that I had the opportunity to love her and for her to feel my love. When she was comfortable again after being in