When I was a kid, my family had professional photos taken ONCE. Yup, you read that right. It was an awful experience full of stiff poses, that had me awkwardly resting my hand on my brother’s shoulder. I also happened to have the WORST hair cut ever, and am oh so grateful that these photos still grace my parent’s walls. (Insert major eye roll here).
Stiff, boring, stressful family photos are a thing of the past.
A family session with me is about having fun, loving on each other, letting go, and embracing the chaos that is raising a family. So how do we make your session fun?
I take the “family photo” first and then we have fun.
Since your kids are expecting to have to smile for photos, we get that out of the way first. When we meet at the location, I greet your family, catch up, and then I let the kids in on how our time together will work. I let them know that I’m just going to take a couple of quick photos for mom and dad, and then we will have some fun. Of course, we are getting photos the entire time. However, the only time I ask them to look at the camera is this very first shot.
There is plenty of play and exploration during your family photo session.
With the family photo out of the way, everyone can relax. Your kids don’t feel pressure to do anything anymore and just let loose, have fun, and their real smiles come out. Making the most out of our location, we explore, play, throw rocks, dance, just have fun.
Don’t worry, I’m still guiding and helping you so that these seemingly candid moments are beautiful photographs.
When your kids have a say they are more excited to participate in the experience.
I often ask your kids what they want to do, where they want to explore next, or who we should photograph next. Giving them control not only leads to more authentic portraiture of your family, but to kids excited to give ideas and make decisions.
I have your kids help me take photos of you.
There is always a time I give kids a break and focus on just mom and dad together. However, I often ask kids to help me make sure mom and dad smile and invite them in on a secret mission. This is usually when I get the best laughs and smiles. They also want to go tackle/tickle/surprise mom and dad again and again, not even thinking about taking photos. To them, it is just a time to play and have fun with their parents. That’s the goal of family photos -to capture your family as you love on each other, to document your true smiles, love, and laughter - right?
A photo session with me is not your typical family photo session experience.
I want to end this post by reminding you that a session with me is not like you remember family photos as a kid. That studio session with a photographer moving your hands and heads just so, wanting the kids to sit perfectly still to get the shot, that’s not what a session with me is like.
Your family will play, laugh, run, jump, move. There is lots of movement. It may feel chaotic compared to what you are used to. However, if you let go, just trust in the experience, I promise you will love your gallery of images of your family.
Let me say it again, if you’ve never had a session with me, you may leave wondering how on Earth any good photos were captured. The kids never sat still and were goofy and silly and running around, and maybe there were a few tears because someone tripped. But I promise, in the end you will have beautiful family photos that show off a bit of your own personality.