Hi friends!   It's officially Fall and that probably means many of you are preparing for your family photo session, either with me or another photographer.  Preparing for your photo session can feel stressful.  What are we all going to wear? What if my kiddos don't cooperate? I get it.  I have been there.  You are investing in capturing beautiful memories for your family and you want it to go smoothly.  Here are some tips to help ease your worries and to prepare your family.

{Special Note} Make sure to read the end of this post- I’ve got a special surprise!  I’m taking part in a blog circle with some photographer friends of mine.  We’re linking to each other’s posts, so you can check out what they’re up to. This month, I’m linking to a fabulous photographer who’s sharing a beautiful studio newborn session!


1. First. What to wear. By no means do you all need to match!  You can color coordinate, earthy tones, deep reds and browns for fall, or bright airy colors. But matching is dated and can actually take away from the images when you all look the same.   You can check out my pinterest board for some more ideas here.  You can also lay out what everyone is going to wear on the bed and snap a phone picture.  That way you can see if anything is looking off to you. Avoid shirts with text or big graphics as they are distracting.

2. Next, Trust me.  I am a lifestyle family photographer. As I told a mom recently who was worried about her toddler cooperating, I am not after the perfectly posed image of everyone smiling at the camera.  My job is not to make you look perfect or have your children behave perfectly.  You have probably been wired to look at the camera and tell your kids to say cheese and are worried they won't smile.  But honestly, if you are having photos taken to document this stage in your family's life, everyone looking at the camera is not telling your story. I will get that one money shot, but then will have you enjoy each other.  I will direct you into a connected pose and then guide you into genuine intereactions with your family. You will snuggle, play, give kisses, and tickle your children.  I will show you that your children are perfect just how they are.  I promise to beautifully capture your family's story.


3. Be honest and tell your kids what will happen.  Tell them you are going to be seeing a friend who is going to take your pictures for a little while.  Tell them that we are going to go to a really fun park or beach, and play. 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;)

4. Another photographer recommended showing them pictures of themselves, and I think it's the perfect idea!  My little girl loves to see photos of herself with us or of just her!  She'll scroll through albums on my phone, or photo books in her hand.  Seeing their own pictures from the past can get them excited for pictures now.

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5. Food and rest ahead of time.   I know, we talked and I told you we need to meet at 6pm to have the best light.  It's dinner time and their nap was over two hours ago.   I get it.  What can help though, is if possible, lay them down for a later nap, or if they don't nap anymore (my girl gave up her naps at 2!), clear  your schedule the day of your photos for some quiet restful time before our shoot.  I suggest making your session day mostly relaxing, not hiking and running a ton of errands. Your session should be your main activity that day.  Feed them an early dinner or big snack to tide them over until after the session so they aren't hungry.  Hungry little ones are never happy!

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6. Let your kiddos be themselves.  I will never force your child to look at me and smile.  I'm ok with serious, true expressions of childhood.  I will also never make a timid child leave the comfort of your arms.  I will capture their shy cuddles, or exploring and being them.

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7. Lastly, show them who I am!  Click on over to my about page, putting a picture to a name will help them.  You can also go to my IG account and show them my kiddos and family, because then they will get to know me and see I am just like you:)

I promise we will have fun!  I can't wait for upcoming sessions this fall! I hope this has been helpful and eased any worries you may have had, and you are now excited for your family photos too.

And don’t forget to check out the blog circle showcasing five other super talented photographers.  Next up is my friend Chelsey Hill who’s featuring a precious newborn session.  Click here to check our her blog post: Newborn Photography in Cleveland, OH

Much love,