So you’ve found a photographer you’d like to photograph your family. You’ve settled on a quote and you have booked the session. It’s getting closer to your session date and you’re thinking “What should I be doing to prepare for this?” or “I’ve never done this before. Am I supposed to do anything beforehand?”. In my opinion this answer is both yes and no. Should you be thinking up poses for the photo session? Maybe, but not required. If there is something specific that you would like, for example having your house as part of the background, then definitely relay this information to your photographer. If you would prefer candids to posed pictures then that is something your photographer definitely needs to know. Inn general it is the photographers responsibility to be armed with a plan for your session so don’t sweat if you aren’t sure. Here are a list of things that definitely will help the session go a lot smoother.
1. Routine. This is important especially if you have younger children who are affected by a change in schedule. It is really important that on the day of your session, especially if scheduled in the evening, to make sure your little ones have taken a sufficient enough nap to be pleasant and able to follow simple directions. Also, if the session is scheduled when your children would normally eat dinner, make sure they have a snack right before. I am sure most of you parents out there would attest to the difficulty in reasoning with a child that is both tired AND hungry!
2. Color Scheme. It is definitely in your best interest to try to coordinate your family’s outfits without being too matchy. By matchy I mean the same color on the bottom and the same color on the top. Although this idea is not always terrible, coordinating colors adds richness to your photos especially if taken outdoors. Stay tuned for a more in depth post on color schemes coming soon!
3. Grooming. Although seemingly obvious, it may not be for some. For men, shave/trim your beard the night before and maybe get a haircut the week of the session if your locks tend to be a bit out of control when grown out. The same goes for women with your hair. When styling your hair, go with what looks natural. For example, if you can curl or straighten your hair but your hair is naturally curly definitely go with that. Make sure to bath your children right before or the morning of, depending on your activities for the day.
4. Communicate. Speaking with your photographer about your family dynamic prior to the session is extremely important. Some photographers meet with their clients beforehand to get a sense of this or have a phone conversation. This can be helpful but can also be extremely hard to be able to get to know you in a short amount of time. If you are a fun family and would prefer not to have posed pictures it is definitely beneficial for you to explain this to your photographer. If you would prefer posed pictures or more formal pictures this needs to be explained as well. It will help the photographer better plan for the session and in turn capture more pictures as well as ensure the session goes as smoothly as possible.
5. Don’t Stress!! As photographers, part of our job is to conduct these sessions as smoothly as possible. We also want you to have some fun! If you do have questions or concerns you should feel completely comfortable bringing these to your photographers attention. Even something as seemingly small such as “what shoes should I wear?” is a great question to ask, especially if it is stressing you out. I am confident that a quality photographer will have an answer for you and will make your session a breeze. A stressed smile is not nearly as gorgeous as a relaxed smile!!!
Even though some of these may seem very obvious, it sometimes helps to have a condensed list of things to do to prepare. We all can use a reminder sometimes about the little things we can do to help the big things go much smoother!