How to get the most out of your Family Session.

Fall is here and family sessions are in season! The bright colorful dance of autumn brings us a beautiful background for family photos. Weather you schedule a full session or take advantage of the mini sessions offered this time of the year, it’s helpful to prep a little to ensure your photos go smoothly and beautifully. Follow some of these tips to get the most out of your session!

Think about wardrobe before the day of the shoot.

Fall brings many wonderful colors out, lot’s of oranges, reds and yellows, mostly warm hues are highlighted this season. It’s no secret planning outfits ahead of time can be a little stressful- so try keeping it simple. Choose 3 colors that you can work with for each member, such as yellow, blue and burgundy. Tan, blue and orange work well too- try laying them out on your bed before-hand so you can see them all together. And when it doubt neutral is always a safe bet that will ensure your family pops! Stay away from busy patterns, and too many accessories as they distract from what really matters.

Make time for naps and work with your family’s schedule.

If you have little ones, it’s important to take enough time after naps to allow them to wake up and become aware of their surroundings. No one likes to be woken up, dressed quickly and then have a stranger with a camera come towards them. Schedule your shoot around their schedule, ideally about 45 minutes to an hour after their usual naps and at least an hour before they go down for the night. This is likely to help fight against tantrums, fits, and overall grumpiness from the little ones. But as life is often unpredictable we can only prepare and hope - tears might still come but we will work with everyone to get the best out of the situation.

Let the kids be kids!

Have you tried getting that perfect school picture of your kid? It can feel like a daunting task, but there’s a few tips and tricks you can try to get the best out of your family session. First off don’t practice smiling- 90% of the time it backfires. Kids get used to cheesin’ it up for the camera and it often looses the authentic, happy smile you love. Secondly, kids can often get nervous about new people taking their pictures, it’s important to make sure they feel safe and comfortable in the environment. This is partly why I’m so partial to in-home sessions since kids feel the most at ease in their own space. No matter where your shoot takes place, it’s important to let them do what they know how to do best: BE KIDS! Some of my favorite shots are when children are running, giggling, and just having fun. Don’t get hung up on having them be a perfect angels-sometimes the more you fuss the more they fight. It’s best to go with the flow and work with their pace.

Plan an activity together.

If your session time allows for it, I highly recommend planning an activity or outing. No matter how big or small, having something for you and your kids to enjoy while documenting helps curate authentic moments and real memories to hold on to for years. It could be as simple as letting them play with a toy or pet, throwing leaves in the air, or spinning! This creates movement and adds life to your images. If you want to go more planned, try having the shoot at a local library, museum, or conservatory. In home sessions allow for more personal activities that can be viewed as a special occasions for the kids such as making pancakes together, jumping on the beds, or building forts!

Have fun. Really.

Whatever that day throws you, as long as you can roll with the punches, go with the flow, and continue to smile - you’ll still get great images. Attitude is everything, even if you get the perfect shot while everyone is frustrated and upset during the shoot- that’s what you’ll always think about when you look back. Verses having a session where everything goes unplanned, and unfolds organically- allowing authentic moments to shine through.

I am so pumped to be offering two mini sessions this fall! It’s a great time to take advantage of great weather and get ahead of the holiday season. Mini sessions offer 30 min. slots of time for each family to get the shots they need quickly and efficiently. Each session includes 10 fully- edited digital images, in addition to the printing rights. Limited edition products and sale items available to clients who book for either date. Two locations and two dates available: Grand Rapids area on Sunday Oct. 21st. or Ann Arbor area on Sunday Oct. 28th. Details and directions given upon inquiry.