During my sessions, the focus is more about giving you the opportunity to have quality time together. Our lives are so busy and things often get in the way, work, housework, technology.. the list goes on. A photography session with me, is an adventure at a new location to explore, or even at home. No phones, nothing other than just being in each other's company, talking, playing and having fun. Here's how you can make it even better!
Book your session in advance. This gives you plenty of time to refine outfit choices, location choices and have all the information well in advance to help you prepare. It also means you can have the photographer you want, when you want and don't end up disappointed.
Arrive a Little Early
If you've booked a session at 'Golden Hour' it is absolutely essential that you're not late. The sun will disappear and you may not get as much out of the session with the limited time you have left. If you aim to arrive early, if you do end up running late you're more likely to end up arriving on time, which will take away a bit of the stress. It can also be the perfect opportunity to shake off anything that happened before the session, whether it was running late, children fighting, a squabble over directions (all those things are totally normal and can happen), that time to reset can be the key to an enjoyable experience.
It may not seem that easy because not everyone is comfortable in front of a camera, but hear me out.
If you have children involved in your session, it doesn't matter how young or how old they are, they pick up on your vibes. If you're feeling nervous or stressed or even a little under the weather, they won't act like their usual selves because they know that something is up.
Children or not, here's a couple of ideas to help you out;
- Take some deep breaths
- Think of your favourite joke because I'm definitely going to be thinking of mine to share too!
- Follow my lead. I'm going to be doing everything I can to help you feel comfortable and relaxed. So get ready for some fun conversation and laughs.
If you're having a session at a location, leave your stuff in the car. Bulky bags, backpacks, wallets, purses can't make it challenging to capture beautiful moments that may happen on the walk to the location or if there are multiple, from place to place. Your photographer will bring blankets and throws to sit on and anything else you might need as discussed prior to your session. All your photographer wants is you! So only carry the bare essentials.
As much as many photographers love 'behind the scenes' photos, the preference is really to leave phones in the car or in a bag. Why? There are a few reasons. The first being that phones in pockets can really date a photo (and look a little awkward) and the aim is to create something timeless. The second is that there may be times when not everyone is required in the photo. It can be tempting to check notifications and other things, but sometimes the best photos can come from the connection between someone in the photo and another out of the frame. Those moments are missed when looking at a screen. Another reason (though much more rare) is when clients attempt to replicate a photo by standing directly behind or beside the photographer. Many photographers have a clause in their contract against this but it can also be a safety hazard if the photographer goes to move suddenly and there is someone else in close proximity. This can result in injury and moments missed.
The final reason is one I've already mentioned. Your session is a chance to have quality time that you might not get ordinarily. Just you, without the noise and business of life. Time to slow down and just enjoy each other's company. While the photographer is capturing digital memories, you and your family will undoubtedly be creating core memories of your experience.
Portrait Style Shots in Family Sessions
While we want our kids to be smiling and happy in the photos, here is one thing you shouldn't do;
Please do not stand behind the photographer trying to get the children's attention. Why? Because the photos will come out with the adults looking directly at the camera and the children looking above the camera or to the side or almost anywhere else. If it's just pictures of the kids, they won't be looking at the camera at all. Your photographer is experienced. They have 100 tricks up their sleeves before they rely on family members for this exact reason. They will often have their own squeaking or jingling toys and other things to make it work. When they do need help from a family member, they'll give clear instructions of what to do and where, so that the photos turn out how you want them to. The first instinct will be to jump in and help, but trust us. We've done it all before.
Last but not least...
I want to see closeness.
Close all the gaps between you.
Bring your faces and foreheads together.
Look in each other's eyes.
Lean on one another.
Reminisce all the wonderful moments that brought you to this one.