Ahh, family photos...
The photos you've been wanting to get done for years but have avoided for many different very justifiable reasons. I've written up this post with the intention to take the stress off of the idea of getting your family's pictures done, and maybe even get you to look forward to them!
Taking family photos should be exciting and relaxing for both you and your kids, not the opposite.
The reasons you've been avoiding it:
- Your kids wont sit still to save their lives. You can bribe them, promise a treat afterwards, but they still wont budge.
- Your kid's moods are unpredictable. One moment they're beaming with joy and the next, they're bringing a flash flood of tears.
- Your kids are messy. How are they supposed to last a 20 minute car ride without ruining the outfits purchased specifically for this photoshoot?
HERE'S THE DEAL:
I can promise you that your kids will be more calm if you are calm.
And because I'm not one to insert a bunch of filler text to make this blog post more... "bloggy", here are 5 things you can do to make your session easier, and enjoyable.
- Bring snacks without food coloring that you can brush off if they get messy. Ritz crackers, corn chips, you know the drill. Also, don't bring juice - bring water. Water dries, juice stains.
- Tell your kids that we're going on an adventure! When I shoot with my families, the kids run the show. If they're not wanting to pose for a picture, then we're not going to force them. Let them walk around and explore a bit!
- EMBRACE THEM. Your kids are going to run the show. Expanding on my last point, I like to make our shoots together enjoyable. If we mostly get candids, that is okay. Just go with it and explore with them!
- Don't go over the top trying to get them excited about the family photos. It can send an abnormal nervous energy that can make them anxious, and possibly result in some tears mid shoot.
- Most importantly, if all else fails, THAT IS OKAY. The purpose of getting pictures done is to capture memories of what this stage of life was like so you can look back and remember the fun times. Looking back on photos with tears or whatever it may be will result in laughs later down the road. Wouldn't you rather remember the raw and the authenticity your family has than looking back at some plastic, perfectly staged photos?
HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES WHERE WE EMBRACED THE KIDS, LET THEM RUN THE SHOW, AND GOT SOME CUTE PICTURES AS A RESULT.
"Wanna do airplanes?"
This little man wasn't having it for this family's photos. He was tired, and wouldn't smile next to mom and dad.
As soon as I mentioned airplan nes though, dad swooped in and started flying him around! See that smile? This family's version of airplanes was dinosaur... and it worked magic.
Who wants to go exploring?
After driving in the car for a while, these kids wanted to explore! Mom and dad continued to hush them with the intent of making my job easier, but i wanted them to be happy in these photos and why not get some epic candids in these mountains?
In this photo, I had everyone get in a line, and look at the spot that they wanted to climb to (you can see the boy on the right point to his destination).
And of course, they ran off to explore shortly after this.
The rest of the session seemed like playtime!