1. Hire your photographer early
Hiring your photographer several weeks and months in advanced will give you more time to plan with him/her your session. This will give you the time you need to coordinate wardrobes and choose a day that is not a busy one on your schedule. Scheduling a photo session the week of or having a busy day with activities beforehand is not a good idea as it leads to unhappy children which equals unhappy or forced expressions in the photos.
2.Choose a time of day that works best with your children
For outdoor photo sessions, most photographers will suggest morning or evenings for the photo session to take place in order to optimize the best natural light. These times of day also happen to be naturally difficult ones for children, especially young children. Go with your gut and instincts: You know your children the best, whether they are morning people or tend to be more energetic and engaging in the evening. Let your photographer know which time a day is best. This can make a huge difference in the enjoyment of the experience and the end result of your images.
3. Clothing everyone within a color family is in, not matching head to toe
Gone are the days of matchy matchy wardrobes for photo shoots. Look through colors swatches from our Pinterest page for wardrobe color ideas. You may just have the right colors in your wardrobe already! This will help in budgeting and finding a color swatch that matches your family's personality, the time of year the photos are taken, the location and/or fit your current wardrobe. Also keep in mind comfort as you clothe your children. Free flowing, moveable clothes enable your child to still be a kid, while being also adorable.
4. Clearly Communicate your Vision
Most of the time, photographers will have location ideas if you don't have anything specific in mind. He/She will choose your location based on the information she gathers through your questionnaire and conversations. If your family doesn't love the water nor getting messy, but loves clean lines and order, than the beach probably isn't the best choice for you! Messy sand and ocean spray wouldn't only be unenjoyable, but would not capture who you are as a family. A more suitable location may be a city scape or an easily accessible natural area. Choosing a location that fits your family does make a difference in how you feel about your images.
5. Accessories Accessories Accessories!
Probably one of the most important tips for adults is to remember to accessorize. For newborns: hats, bows, wraps and props are important
For children: bows, ribbons, hats and favorite toys can be fun
For adults: it's watches, suit coats, and nice shoes for men and
earrings, necklaces, bracelets, hats, scarves, and heels for women.
You may question heels and suit coats, but heels help elongate the legs, making a lady appear trimmer on film. And we all want that, don't we ladies!
And to answer any questions about a suit jacket, well just ask a woman how she feels about a man in a suit jacket:) She will most likely reply that men look sharp and handsome. Not only does a jacket help a man appear broader and more masculine on film, but also trimmer as it creates a slimming effect with the contrast and position of the shirt and coat. The accessories you wear can most importantly bring confidence in how you feel about yourself during your session, which is ultimately displayed in your images.
(These suggestions are only applicable if they work with the location environment. It may not be suitable at times to be wearing heels or a suit jacket.)
These few short tips will help you LOVE your finished images and ENJOY your family photo session experience.