I love getting Family photos done. I am always the one behind the camera (although my husband does an amazing job when I do hand the camera over to him;) and it gives me a chance to relax and love on my family. I'm excited to have new photos to hang on our walls and gift to family members. Most of all, it means my children will have photos of me with them to look back on years form now and know I was there too. However, I know my family may not be as excited as I am to get their photos taken. As a family photographer, I have also come across many Dad's (and toddlers) who weren't excited to get their photos done at first either! But by the end of our session together, Dad will be thanking me and saying how much fun they had, and little ones will be giving me big hugs goodbye!
So here are some tips to get your family on board and excited for your family photos soon!
Mamas, Getting Excited starts with you
I know you want everything to go smoothly and how much these photos mean to you. You want your husband to be relaxed and smiling, and your kiddos to behave perfectly. Your family can sense that pressure and feel resentful the more stressed you are. So take a deep breathe. Relax. The less you stress, the less they will too. Your only job is to show up, love on your family, and leave the rest to me.
A fun family experience
Making your session a time for the whole family to be together is really important. Tell them you are going to play at a park (field, beach, etc.) where they can run and play while a photographer takes some pictures of them. Then afterwards, go out for dinner or to your favorite ice cream shop! Talk about the experience as something you get to do together instead of something you have to do.
Your session should be the focus of the day. If your session is at sunset (which I recommend our session being) and your kiddos have already had a jam-packed day, they will more likely be overtired and cranky.
Tell the kids what to expect
Be honest and tell your kids what will happen. They can be anxious if they don't remember the last time they had photos done, or don't know what is going to happen. Tell them you are going to be seeing a friend who is going to take your pictures while you play and be together as a family. Tell them that your friend will ask them to stand or sit together a few different ways and that it will be pretty quick too;) Even showing them a picture of me on my website before hand can eleviate any worry of a new friend.
Tell your husband how you feel
Talking to your husband and letting him know you understand having pictures done isn't his favorite thing in the world, but that it means so much to you. He will appreciate you for that:)
Embrace the chaos
I'll say it again, your job is to relax and love on your family and let me worry about the rest. Believe me, I know how crazy a family dynamic can be, there's never a dull moment in my family! I have seen it all; shy kids who don't want anything to do with me, energetic ones who need to run and explore, and ones who won't stop talking to me;) I have no expectations for your children and will go off of their energy. That's the beauty that I see through my lens, and I will show you just how beautiful your family's chaos is, I promise.
Lastly, trust me.
You have hired me for a reason. Maybe you came across my work online or a friend recommended me (thank you to them!). And maybe getting ready didn't go as smoothly as you thought. The baby took a nap earlier than you wanted and is approaching bedtime now (that always happens, right!). Or your daughter had a meltdown in the car and you are all in terrible moods now. (yup, true story). I promise, if you just take a deep breathe, trust me to capture your family beautifully, you will not be disappointed.