So you booked a family session, now what?
Now the fun part! We get to plan out all the specifics for your family so you can have an amazing time and capture your family for generations to come! Follow these tips below to get ready and nail your family session!
WHEN + WHERE
- Time and Date, choose a time and date that works best for everyone. Make sure to schedule the session at least a few weeks in advance to make sure you have enough time to plan.
- Location is super important for your session, but you don't actually need to overthink it! Select a location that is special to you, this can be a park, beach, near a beautiful scenic place, or even at your own home!
I often shoot in the evening or morning, when the sun is not overhead, not a deal breaker, just a preference for most of my clients who want that "golden glow". Shooting closer to sunrise and sunset gives us those gorgeous rays of sunshine. If you have your heart set on a daytime session, I can accommodate that, we will likely just need to find some amount of shade if the sun is out in full.
This family chose their favorite beach spot for their session, about 2 hour before sunset because of schedules we also opted for a weekday. The beach was fairly quiet being that it was not a weekend. The sun was strong that day so we shot both in the sun and in the shade, everyone did wonderfully, even the doggo!
Let your family shine! This might be the detail you spend the most time trying to coordinate. These tips can help you plan and overall give you a more cohesive vibe for your session.
- Don't be matchy-matchy. Matching jeans and white t-shirts was cute in the 90's but we can do better! Instead, wear colors that compliment each other, like neutrals and earth tones. When in doubt, visit Pinterest online for ideas or check my Style Guide for color pallet ideas.
- Dress for the weather. Everyone photographs better when they're ready for the outdoors, from your head to your toes, be mindful of the season and dress for that specific weather. If you're outdoors in the winter please don't forget your coats, hats, mittens and boots, you get the the idea!
- Undergarment Check. I have experience working in Photoshop but trying to edit underwear, bra straps or panty lines takes time and will cost you money for extra editing time. Instead, choose clothing that fits properly and you're able to move comfortably.
- Avoid Logos and busy patterns. They can be distracting in photos and take away that timeless feeling.
- Footwear. Don't forget about your shoes (or no shoes, if you're at the beach), stick with colors similar to what your main colors are, so you remain cohesive. If we have to walk to the location be mindful of those feet, bring a comfortable pair to change into if we're walking a bit.
- Accessories and props are a must. These things are easy to take on or off plus they create visual interest and personality in your photos. Things like jewelry, hair accessories, hats, scarves, flower bouquets, or special memento.
- Clean it up. Go over the items you plan to wear and make sure they are clean, free of stains, tears or other issues, this also goes for your shoes. Item don't need to be new, but they should be clean!
(ATLEAST) ONE WEEK BEFORE
- Lay out all the outfits so you can see what they look like together. Do not wait until the night before, you'll want time to prepare for clothing. I recommend taking a photo of them and examining that image. If you're feeling overwhelmed with the choices, I encourage my clients to text or email me, thats my job to help!
- If anyone plans to get their hair cut or colored I recommend doing so about a week before any session - if it comes out wrong then there's time for it to be corrected or grow out a bit.
- Okay this is a BIGGIE for me, talk to your family about the session. Let them know what to expect, throw in a bribe - ice cream after a session was always a hit with my kiddos, a beer for the hubby, etc.. And if anyone, has a meltdown. Don't worry. I am literally aiming to capture your life, even if there are a few tears!
By the way, you'd likely never guess from this adorable family's image, but there were tears, an unfortunate messy bird incident and plenty of bribes, and yet we still got the shots! Stay cool, stay calm and roll with it! I promise, we'll get through it together!
24 HOURS BEFORE & THE DAY OF
Whoo-hoo! You made it! Here are the last minute and day-of tips to get you ready!
- Make sure everything is clean and free of wrinkles, so bust out the iron or steamer, clean the shoes too!
- Jewelry, it's little but it's so important! All the bling please! See my own story about my family's photos here.
- Does your kiddo have a favorite comfort stuffy? Bring it. It can be a great sentimental item to document with your child.
- Snacks and drinks for anyone planning to be in the session. Stay away from anything that will dye your mouth blue or leave orange cheese dust behind!
- Pack everything ready to grab it and go the day before because I promise you the last thing you'll want to be doing is digging through looking for a special memento or prop to include. Go ahead and pack everything beforehand, including snacks, maybe a tablet or a small toy to play with if there's some waiting time involved so you don't forget it when it's officially GO time!
- Double check the where and when details and leave with plenty of time, just in case.
- Last, Breath! Realize your kiddos might be wild or shy. That's totally okay and normal. If I had a dime for every time this happened in a session I'd have, well... a lot! So please DO NOT STRESS, what will be perfect is the fact that you actually made to your session and we're going to make some memories to capture this one tiny day, in a wonderful life you're creating!
I can't wait to meet you and capture your family!