Tips to help reduce your stress!

As a photographer I know how stressful it feels getting ready for a family photo session. As a mom I know how stressful it is getting my kids ready for a family photo session.

Both parties want pictures to turn out perfect and to capture the best images possible. As a mom, we tend to be behind the camera more often than not. So, those family sessions give us the chance to finally join in the pictures with the rest of our families. So, of course we want them to be perfect and stress about them. Here are a few tips and tricks from the perspective of a photographer and a mom.

Setting Up the Session:

As a photographer, I will tell you the best time for pictures is the golden hour. First thing in the morning or late in the evening. As a mom, I will tell you this is not always possible. Some kids are grumpy in the morning. Other kids go to bed early. Planning a session when you know your 2-year-old is used to napping is probably not a good idea. It also isn’t a good idea to take pictures after an active, event filled day. Your kids will be worn out and ready to go home. You want your kids to be well rested. Sleepy kids are grumpy kids. Grumpy kids do not want to pose for pictures. They want to take a nap.

You also want to think about meal and snack time. If you plan a session when your kids are normally having lunch, they are going to be hungry. Not sure about you, but when I am hungry the last thing I want to do is smile for the camera…. I want to eat!

So, make sure you talk to you photographer about the time. Make sure everyone has eaten and is well rested. Bring a snack and some water. Even if you must shoot in the middle of the day, we can find ways to work around the sun and shadows.

Picking Your Attire:

Think about where you want to display the images in your home. Is there a color scheme the images will need to blend with? If there is someone in the family harder to dress than the others, start with their outfit. Make sure everyone is going to be comfortable in what they have on. If they are not comfortable in their clothes, they won’t be comfortable in the pictures. Stay away from clothing with print and horizontal stripes. Stripes are not always flattering in pictures. Shirts with logos and print can be distracting and dated.

Make sure you pick out your outfits at least a week before your session. You don’t want to be running around the morning of trying to figure out what to wear. Also, set those outfits two nights before so you know where everything is. Do you know how often kids lose a shoe? Pretty often!! You want to make sure you know where everything is to avoid stressing out the day of your session.

Prepare the Kids:

Let your kids know what you will be doing. If the photographer isn’t someone you know, make sure they are aware. Some kids get nervous around new people and it can be hard for them to relax. Get to the location early if you can and give them time to get familiar with their surroundings. If your kids have a favorite toy, bring it along. Even if you must take a few pictures with a teddy bear, kids will normally start to warm up to the photographer and you can tuck Teddy away for the remainder of the session. Also, I am not above bribing my kids with candy. Just saying. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

Prepare Yourself:

I know you want everything to go perfect and your kids happy, angles. You want your husband to be excited and ready to smile. Prepare yourself for the fact things might not go as planned. Remember to relax and try to enjoy the moment and trust your photographer to capture the images. If there are shots you know you want, send examples to your photographer ahead of time. This allows the photographer to make a list of “must have” photos that we can do our best to make happen. Even if the kids aren’t as cooperative as you had hoped. Be patient. Sometimes you will need to let the kids run around between poses to get out some energy. Those could end up being your favorite images!

Above all else, have fun! Play with the kids, let dad throw them in the air, tickle them when they sit on your lap. Have fun and do not worry if everyone is looking at the camera. Let the photographer do their job and capture the moments. Let yourself relax and be in the pictures for once!