Friday Five | Five Tips for Your Family Pictures (Part 1)

Hey, yoooooo! It’s Friday, can ya feel it? I love the feeling of a Friday. I love Thursdays too because they are like Friday-eve.

Today I am going to give you 5 tips for having a good family picture session. When I went to Reset, we had the opportunity to listen to an amazing photographer named Kellie Bieser. Kellie made some great observations about our expectations when we get family pictures vs. our reality.

For example, as a client you want

  • smiling, happy children

  • flattering posing

  • an emotional connection

  • Pinterest worthy setting

  • etc!

However, your reality is that…

  • you hate being in front of the camera

  • you’re wearing uncomfortable clothes

  • you’re in place you’d never visit

  • you’re interacting in unnatural ways

  • you spent a lot of money and that is a lot of pressure

  • you don’t really know me

Wow, talk about stress! It’s so true, though, isn’t it? When I have hired out family pictures, even as a photographer, I totally stress before, and even during the session.

To take a little of the stress of family pictures out, read these tips.

1.) Review the blog and the website

and see what kind of images I take. I’d hate for you to want pictures that I just don’t deliver. I don’t shoot posed newborns, for example. If you hire me to take your newborn pictures and are expecting a baby in a bonnet inside a bucket, you are going to be very disappointed! If you aren’t local, review photographers’ blogs and websites and make sure you know what you will be getting when you commission those artists.

2.) Let me make you look good

During the shoot, I am going to ask if it is okay if I touch you. I like to move arms, chins, hair, and especially hands to make sure you look just right in your photo. Don’t worry about it when I tell you not to look right at me. You will like the result! I am the most awkward, frozen statue as soon as a camera points in my direction. I need the direction just as much as you do. I know just how awkward you feel, but I will try my best to get you feeling comfortable by the end of the session.


3.) Run your outfit ideas past me

First and foremost, I want you to be comfortable. If you are constantly tugging a shirt or yanking a strap, you will not be very relaxed. Also, wear comfortable shoes. You’ll thank me. I recommend you dress yourself (mom) first. Pick something you look and feel great in. It doesn’t have to be new. What do you get compliments on? Wear that! My favorite is a flowy dress (just. so. pretty.) but if you are anti-dress, try for a loose gauzy shirt or something that will catch some movement. Try not to be super color-coordinated and please don’t all wear black! Then, please send me a picture. I can send you direction or ideas. I can also determine where the outfit will look the best. Green in a field is not great, for example. I will help! Don’t do it alone if it is a stressor!

4.) Let’s chat

If you are up for it, I will gladly meet with you prior to your session. At a minimum, I like to get my clients on the phone so we can feel less like strangers when I am going to be bossing you around for an hour at your session! I want you to trust me and know me and bonus if we become BFFs after.

5.) Don’t wait for fall

This is more of a timing issue. People love fall pictures and I totally understand why. It’s close to Christmas Card season, it’s beautiful weather and gorgeous scenery. However, my own personal pictures have almost always been done in the Spring and Summer with 1 or 2 exceptions and I have always loved them. It’s harder to get a date, the weather can get us rescheduling, kids are busy with back-to-school activities, etc. Spring and summer are just as nice for your pictures, trust me!

There are so many more tips that I will share on another installment of Friday Five! Hope this helps!