Do you yearn for an amazing family session? Do you see photos taken of friends’ families and wonder how they got amazing shots?
Despite what many think, the key of an amazing family session is NOT just a good photographer. Parents play a HUGE role in making a family session with young children amazing.
I’ll be honest. I never realized this until I had kids myself. Any good shots we got as a family were not because of anything I did. They are usually the result of the hard work my husband puts in making sure we are all laughing and having fun. My husband threw the kids around, encouraged them to talk about things they love, and kept us relaxed. I was always too busy focusing on how we looked or poses, and the “in the moment” pictures were so often my favorites.
Since I have become a photographer, I’ve learned that not everyone is like my husband.Often people are a lot like me.
Maybe they forgot part of the outfit? Maybe they are running late? They show up at a session stressed instead of wanting to have fun.
One of my favorite sessions to date was Emery’s 18 month shots in North Beach, Maryland. Emery’s mom was great because she gave me a very detailed idea of what she liked and didn’t like with past sessions and photos, in general. While I knew she had some dream shots, she and her husband were great at making sure that Emery and her older brother had fun. They let them be kids as they walked down the boardwalk. They didn’t stress about time. They let them admire the ducks. And at the end of the session, after all the formal shots were taken, they let them be kids. Emery and her older brother jumped into the water, fully clothed. The parents even had thought ahead to bring towels and extra clothes and had left them in the car. The session was fun and relaxed, and I was able to capture so many amazing shots for this family. Look at their gallery. It’s not hard to see the fun they had, even with 90 degree temperatures.
And if you have to bribe your kiddos, have things they love that won’t mess up your photos. This family had a lollipop, and it made a really cute prop for the pictures. Other clients have used apples for teething babies. I usually bring a surprise for the kids, too, but going with the flow on this is key!
Seriously, the key is go with how your child or children are feeling the day of the shoot. Don’t push them. Let them be kids.
I promise I will get them to warm up and get the shots you want if you are there to help me!
Just remember to have fun! And if you want shots of everyone looking at the camera, I love it when you help get your kids to smile, but make sure you are looking at the camera, too, so I can get that shot you want!