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Family Portraits

Photos for a 10 Year Anniversary | Snoqualmie Family Photographer

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Photos for a 10 Year Anniversary | Snoqualmie Family Photographer

This past spring, this mom and dad celebrated 10 years of marriage! To celebrate, mom wanted to have their year family photo session done at the same place they had their wedding photos taken ten years ago, downtown Snoqualmie. It was also the perfect location for their train loving son. I may have learned more about trains then I ever imagined, but we also captured so many beautiful moments of light, love, and family. 

Congratulations on 10 years! Here's to many more years of happiness and adventure together!

Want to learn more about family photo sessions? Click the link below. 

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Family Photos By the River at Sunset | Snoqualmie Family Photographer

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Family Photos By the River at Sunset | Snoqualmie Family Photographer

As you scroll through the images below you may feel like you already know this family. I share photos of them often because I have photographed them for years. Their galleries are always full of images I just have to share and this year was no exception.

We met at one of my favorite locations by the Snoqualmie River and just had fun. There was lots of skipping rocks, a little dancing, jumping, playing with sticks. It felt nothing like you would expect family photos to feel. Which is exactly my goal for family photos, a laid back, fun adventure with the family where I can capture you being you together. 

I am so grateful for the families who come back year after year, having me capture them as their children grow. 

Does this look like something the kind of family photo session you want for your family? Click here to learn more about family sessions or contact me if you are ready to book your family session.

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5 Tips to Prepare for Your Family Photo Session

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5 Tips to Prepare for Your Family Photo Session

You have your family session booked, the date is on the calendar. So now what? If you're anything like me you want to plan to make the most of the family session. Here are the 5 tips I give families with an upcoming family photo session.

Plan What to Wear in Advance

I know it can be easy to put outfits until the last minute, however, no one likes racing around to stores trying to find coordinating outfits, in all the right sizes the day before family photos. Instead, start thinking about the color palette and feel you want right away. Then you can check closets for pieces you already have for everyone and slowly start looking for what you need to fill the gaps. For more ideas on putting together what to wear, click here.

When you have booked a session with me, I not only can help you as much or as little as you'd like with picking out your wardrobe, but you'll receive a private link and password for Style and Select, an easy online styling service. In a nut shell, you complete a simple questionnaire, then select outfits options for everyone in your family based on your answers. The best part is that the results offered give you prices and where to buy for everything. I know you're busy, so I'm hoping this not only eases stress for planning for a family session, but simplifies the process for you!

5 Tips to Prepare for Your Family Photo Session, Neyssa Lee Photography, Issaquah Family Photographer, Family sitting on log pile

Explain to the Kids What Will Happen During Family Photos

Kids like to know what to expect. Chatting about the day and what will happen will help make them more comfortable. Explain that you're going to go explore a fun park (or river, or lake, depending on the location we've selected) together as a family. Tell them that I will be there with a camera, and a camera bag. Showing them my picture if they don't know who I am can help them get a better idea. You can even tell them I have four kids so I REALLY like kids!

If you're making it a fun event like having family photos and then all going for ice cream or hot chocolate or to a special playground, chat up the entire event. I suggest not bribing like saying, "You behave and you get a hot chocolate," but making it more about the fun family adventure you're going to go on together from family photos to special treat afterwards.

5 Tips to Prepare for Your Family Photo Session, Neyssa Lee Photography, Issaquah Family Photographer, Dad spinning with son

Mama, Pamper Yourself

When you feel special and beautiful, it shows on camera. I'm not saying this has to be anything big, get a pedicure, a massage, or even just a new lipgloss. Sometimes taking a moment for ourselves helps you recharge and forget about the stress of wanting everything perfect for picture day. 

If you really want to treat yourself well, consider a spray tan. Did your brain just start counting "Mississippisously" like Ross in Friends? I know. That's what I first thought when an old friend and co-worker, Amanda, told me she was starting her own spray tan business called Endless Summer Spray Tan. But then I learned more, like how the products she uses are vegan, and free of parabens and added preservatives. Amanda also comes to you, matches your skin tone. Gone are the days of orange, splotchy spray tans. Now I'm all about keeping it natural and being true to who you are, but I also know my legs right now are ghostly white - not photo ready at all! A little warm glow may be just the pampering you need to feel like the beautiful and confident mama you are. Wanting to try out a Spray Tan? Mention my name when booking with Endless Summer Spray Tan to save $15! 

5 Tips to Prepare for Your Family Photo Session, Neyssa Lee Photography, Issaquah Family Photographer, Husband and wife snuggled together

Pack the Snacks and Feed the Kids

Even if you're going out to dinner, it is a good idea to feed the kids something before your session. Hungry kids can't think about anything besides being hungry. Full tummies make for more fun. You can also pack snacks to eat on the way or during the session. While sessions typically only last about an hour, I know that all that playing together can feel like hard work. I just suggest a "clean" snack that doesn't leave messes on face/clothing or turn mouths colors - unless you want that captured in your photos!

5 Tips to Prepare for Your Family Photo Session, Neyssa Lee Photography, Issaquah Family Photographer, Family dancing together in beautiful light

Show up Relaxed, Ready to Love on Your Family....No Matter What.

Your job is to just show up relaxed, take a breath and love on that beautiful family of yours. Drop all expectations of perfection and let me photograph the connections and love in your family. Remember, we aren't after that perfect shot, but a collection of images that show who you are right now. Rest easing knowing that I have seen everything from the shy kid to the wild ones, and everything in between and always capture images that are true to those children, true to your family. 

One mom told me, "My husband said, 'We were such a tranwreck but somehow Neyssa made it look like we were pulled together and getting along!'  I told him that is why you’re the professional!" 

5 Tips to Prepare for Your Family Photo Session, Neyssa Lee Photography, Issaquah Family Photographer, Mom with sons

Feeling prepared but haven't booked your photo session yet? Don't worry, I can help with that. Contact me and let's get your session on the calendar. 

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How to Get Your Family Excited About Your Photo Session

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How to Get Your Family Excited About Your Photo Session

I love getting family photos taken. I know that it means that I get to be in the photo loving on my kids without worrying about taking the shot myself. I get excited about the possible new photos I will have to adorn my walls, and gifts to give to family members. Most of all, though, I am excited to exist in photos with my family. However, I know that my family may not be as excited about having their photos taken. In my line of work, I have also come across many a husband (and toddler) who isn't excited when they first meet me. I can tell right away they would much rather be anywhere else but having their photos taken. Now, I can say that in the end I have had many people (kids and husbands included) tell me that they had fun! But here's a few tips to help get your family excited about family photos before realizing how awesome it really is (wink, wink).

Neyssa Lee Photography, Snoqualmie Family Photographer, Seattle Photographer, Get Your Family Excited about Your Photo Session

Excitement starts with you, mama.

I know you want everything to go perfectly and I know you want your children to behave like the angels they always are, while your husband smiles lovingly at you. However, the more your family feels that pressure, the more they will resent having their photos taken. The less you stress, the less they will, too. I tell all the families I photograph to just relax and love on their family and let me worry about the rest. 

Make it a fun family experience.

Talk about family photos as a part of an entire family experience. Tell the kids you are going to go play at the park (or river/field/etc) while a photographer takes your photos. Then you get to go out for dinner or go for ice cream. Talk about the experience together as a family, as something you get to do not something you have to do.

With that said, don't plan fun activities for before family photos. If your session is at sunset and the kids have had a jam packed day of fun, they are much more likely to be exhausted and cranky. 

Neyssa Lee Photography, Snoqualmie Family Photographer, Seattle Photographer, Get Your Family Excited about Your Photo Session, Father and Daughter dancing

Tell the Kids What to Expect

If your kids are young, or its just been a while since you've had family photos taken, they make be unsure of what to expect. Kids can get anxious when they don't know what to do or what will be expected of them. Alleviate their worries by telling them about me and how I will have a camera to take pictures of you guys while you're having fun together as a family. Showing them photos from my website can help, too!

Tell Your Husband How You Feel

I know that dads aren't typically excited about family photos, just like the kids. However,  acknowledge that you know it isn't his favorite thing to do but that it is important to you. 

Get Your Family Excited About Your Photo Session, Neyssa Lee Photography, Snoqualmie Family Photographer

Embrace the chaos

I say again, it is your job to just love on your children and let me worry about the rest. I want you to know that I have seen it all and have no expectations to how your children will act. Kids may start out shy and unsure of me, or they may talk my ear off full of ideas, both are great. I go along with what vibe I'm getting from your children and build from there.  However, if you are scowling in the background because they aren't letting go of your leg, it will show up in your images (and possibly rub off on the kids and your husband!). 

In the End, Trust Me.

You hired me for a reason. I'm guessing you saw my work and loved what you saw, or a friend told you about me (thank you to them!). Getting ready may not go as smoothly as planned. Your daughter may have lost her bow you bought just for the photo session (yup, that was my daughter) and maybe your husband gets frustrated looking for a parking space (again, true story from my own family photos). But I promise, if you just take a deep breath and trust me to capture your family beautifully, you won't regret it. 

Get Your Family Excited About Your Photo Session, Neyssa Lee Photography, Snoqualmie Family Photographer, Family of Five

Are you excited for your family photo session? Let's get your family on the calendar!

Ready for your session but not sure what to wear? Check out  What to Wear for Family Photos!

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