Every year I take time out to have another photographer take my own family’s photos. To me it is just as important for me to get in front of the lens. I want to exist in photos with my family and I know another photographer can capture our family dynamics better than just placing my camera on a tripod. 

It also serves as a great reminder for myself as what it is like being on the other side of the lens. It helps me be a better photographer to experience first hand what the families I photograph experience.

But it’s confession time. This past fall I had a big dose of reality and learned a few priceless lessons. Today I’m sharing in hopes that you can learn from my mistakes.

I scheduled my family session too late in the year.

Fall is a busy time of year, and it got away from me. I kept putting off my own family photos and ended up feeling rushed to get them done in time for Christmas cards and gifts. Just feeling rushed added to my stress, which I know my family felt.

Lesson learned:

This year I will put my family photo session as a priority and schedule earlier in the year.

Image by Megann Robinson.

Image by Megann Robinson.

I stressed too much about the details.

Hoping to replace a wall of canvases in my home, I wanted everything to be “perfect.” I had chosen different outfits for my kids several times, and left picking out my own clothes to right before picture day. As I mentioned above letting my worry over wearing the perfect outfit was felt by my family and upped everyone’s anxiety.

Lesson Learned:

Listening to my own advice of keeping to outfits that I not only feel comfortable in but are true to our style will help me as I plan ahead next year for what we will wear.

Image by Megann Robinson

Image by Megann Robinson

I did not have enough layers to keep my kids warm.

The day of our session came and it was beautiful, but freezing cold and really windy. Although I had warm layers for my kids, they were not enough. My daughter was so cold she kept crying and hiding her face. I admit that even I was freezing.

Lesson Learned:

Be over prepared for the weather. Hats, gloves, mittens don’t hurt to have. If you don’t use them no big deal, but they can be a life saver.

Image by Megann Robinson.

Image by Megann Robinson.

I did not trust in my photographer.

This was my biggest mistake right here. My session felt chaotic (which should be expected. I have FOUR young children) and I left feeling defeated. All I could think was how I had spent all this time stressing for nothing.  I could not imagine how Megann, our photographer, captured anything at all. I even started planning how I would have to do another family session.

Lucky for me, shortly after our session she texted me a couple sneak peeks of the back of her camera. She knew how I must have felt and assured me it was okay. And when I got my gallery I was blown away. She captured us, she captured my beautiful family chaos despite the cold, wind, and tears.

Lesson Learned: Trust in your photographer. 

You hire a photographer not just as someone to push a button, but to actually SEE your family. It may feel chaotic, in fact it WILL feel chaotic, but that’s real life. The images captured will be truly treasured. This year I will come to my session much more relaxed and trusting in my photographer.

Despite my craziness and stressing out it all turned out. The images captured are ones I truly treasure. I not only had one family photo to hang on the wall, but I created a wall display of SEVEN canvases. 

Image by Megann Robinson

Image by Megann Robinson

I learned a lot from last year’s family photo session. This year I will be following  the advice I give mom’s who book a session with me - just embrace the chaos and love on your family and leave the rest to me. 

Ready to embrace your chaos? Let’s chat about how you can learn from my mistakes and have an awesome family session with me.

All images of my family here were taken by the talented Megann Robinson.

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