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Family Portrait Session – What to Expect Guide
YAY! You’ve just booked your family portrait session with ME, Lesley Veronika Photography! I hope you are as excited as I am. It’s ok to be nervous too, after all, getting mom, dad and kids smiling in front of a camera, it can be kinda stressful. But don’t you worry, with my years of expertise and these tips. I promise it won’t be as bad as you think. 😉
We’ve probably touched on a few of these points during our phone consultation but just in case you need a refresher I highly recommend reading over everything.
What to wear recommendations:
- Think about a clothing ad or in a catalog where everyone is coordinated but not matching. Choose a palette of 2-3 colors and mix it up. You want a cohesive feel, but without being overly ‘matchy-matchy’.
- Layered clothing and accessories look fabulous!! Layers add texture and texture adds interest. Chunky knits, lace, jeans or leather jackets, etc. I love the way a chunky cardigan looks. Too hot for layers? Accessories are a great way to add another layer into your style. Hats, scarves, jewelry, headbands and hair bows for little girls. I always get my girls bows on amazon. You can find them here. And if you are doing your session on the beach I always LOVE the way a big floppy hat looks. Like this one!
- Arrange your outfits ahead of time on a big bed, including accessories. And make sure all clothes are clean, pressed and on hangers a few days before your session. Remember, shoes must be clean and stylish, too.
- Think about how mom’s and girl’s hair will done. If you are having a beach session, I highly recommend an updo, or at least half up. The wind on the beach can be strong.
What to Expect – At the Session
I am capturing moments, not poses. The key to a great session is to have fun. I do start out with the “Christmas card photo”, where everyone is looking and smiling into the camera. If you have younger children, please keep in mind, we might not get one with everyone looking. Not everyone has to be looking at the camera and smiling at the same time.
The best images are when the people in the images are engaged and interacting with each other. I will help you by telling you where to stand but often times you will hear me say, “Everyone look at each other. Tickle the kids or Everyone stick their tounges out at dad.” Because these actions get everyone having fun and laughing. Think of things you like to do as a family. Play tag? Tickle the kids? Swing your youngest into the air? You will cherish these images more over time because they depict you in every day interactions.
I like to start your session about an hour before sunset. This is when the light is the best. However, during those long summer months, that can push sunset until 9pm. If you have little ones that don’t do well that time of the day, please let me know and we will work out another time to take your family portraits.
Now is the time you should have most of your wardrobe together (recommendations above). If you would like to bring any lovey’s or toys, start gathering those things together as well (More on this below). And now is the time to start thinking about how you would like to use your images. Hanging canvases on the wall or a coffee table book?
How do I prepare the kids for the portrait session?
About a week before the session, start bringing me up in conversation. You can refer to me as Lesley, Miss Lesley or even the photographer lady. 😉 Tell your kiddos, that you are all going to have their portrait taken together and that it’s going to be a lot of fun. I totally recommend bribery. I’m not kidding. lol! A fun family ice cream date after your session is usually an attention getter. If they are worried about behaving it will show in the images. Make this about having fun and being together.
How do I prepare my husband for the portrait session?
Dad is sometimes just as bad as the kiddos. 😉 He is dreading this portrait session and starts sulking. Tell dad that it will be quick and fun! Let him know that his reaction will often influence the kids. Tell him all he has to do is relax and have fun with his kids and wife. If you take the pressure of, he’ll do great!
How should mom prepare herself for the portrait session?
Relax, go get pampered and don’t stress. Go get your nails and hair done (if that’s how you unwind). Kids will be kids during this one hour. Don’t get frustrated, don’t raise your voice. Just remember that it’s about having fun and the beautiful images will come naturally.
The day of the session, YAY!
It’s finally here. We’ve planned the time, location and wardrobe and we are ready to go!
If your kiddos still nap, make sure they get a good, long nap in. (I know, some times its easier said then done). Make sure everyone is fed prior to coming to the session, but don’t over eat either. You don’t want to feel stuffed and uncomfortable in your portraits. Be sure to bring snacks, a good bribe (my girls always love Oreos for a bribe) and a change of clothes for your kiddos, in case someone gets wet or dirty.
If you are worried about your kiddo being uncooperative (2 and 3 year olds, often have a hard time with family portraits) bring a lovey or a toy. Giving them something to do or hold can sometimes help them listen and cooperate. If you are worried about they way it will look in the images, a lovey is always a great object to incorporate because its something you and your child will always cherish. If you don’t love the lovey idea, then wooden toys always look nice in images. Amazon has some great wooden toys. Boys often like these wooden cars to play with. And girls often like these little wooden animals.